Augustus Carp Esq. by Himself

This book was first published in 1924 and it’s the spoof autobiography of Augustus Carp who lives in Camberwell,London. He’s a humourless, religious pedant and a bufoon. A ghastly character all round really who resorts to blackmail to get on in the world but never sees his own behaviour as bad.

It is funny but I think it’s one of those books which is best shared with a friend(s) and read out aloud. There’s an introduction by Robert Robinson, the book was a family favourite, he was introduced to it by his father and it became a sort of touchstone for them, something which they communicated by.

It’s like a nasty version of Diary of a Nobody, the difference being that Mr Pooter is a harmless likeable chump, the opposite of Carp. The book has illustrations by Marjorie Blood who was also a cartoonist for Punch.

The author of the book was a mystery for years but it was discovered after his death that he was in fact Sir Henry Howarth Bashford an eminent Hampstead doctor who eventually became Hon. Physician to King George VI. He wrote numerous professional works but Augustus Carp was his only foray into comic fiction. He died in 1961.

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