The Diary of a Nobody was the work of George Grossmith and his brother Weedon Grossmith, the sons of a court reporter and part-time stage entertainer, also named George. The younger George followed his father, first as a reporter and later on the stage; Weedon, seven years the junior, studied at the West London School of Art and had some success as a portrait painter before becoming a comic actor. The brothers were fascinated with the stage at an early age. In 1864, aged 17 and 10 respectively, they hosted a complex programme of musical and dramatic entertainment in their parents' garden at Haverstock Hill. This included a 20-minute burlesque version of Hamlet, in which George played the title role; Weedon was Ophelia.