Adrian Albert Mole: the protagonist of the series. Born April 2nd 1967 (or 1968? See below). An unremarkable middle-English boy who begins a personal diary on January 1st 1981, and continues it intermittently over the course of his adult life.
Normally a good and caring person, Adrian is introspective but not pathologically shy. He is generally honest and always tries to do the right thing, sometimes leaving him open to manipulation by the less scrupulous. To his credit he is meticulously tidy and well-groomed, with an acute eye for dress standards even in his teens. However, he is often excessively fussy, petty and jealous, overly critical of other people's shortcomings, and shows a lack of common sense or organisational ability. Considering himself to have elevated intellectual and cultural tastes, he listens to classical music.
He coerced himself to read such books as War and Peace or The Wittgenstein Primer as a teenager, looking down on people who enjoy lower, more popular literature and music. He eagerly embraces radical political views in his youth, but is acually very conservative in his tastes and outlook, becoming more right-wing as he ages (he himself recognises that trend). This is evident in his tendancy to form close friendship with the elderly, such as Bert Baxter; as his mother once put it: "Adrian, you were "born old." His belief in his own abilites is unfortunately exaggerated, to the point of living in a fantasy world - as demonstrated by his persistant attempts to get his writing published, despite an absence of talent which is obvious to anyone and everyone else.
Overall, Adrian is an average man with many normal human shortcomings, but has a very good heart and deals with life's challenges in a manner sometimes comic, but always honest. He has a timeless appeal to the everyman sentiment in all readers.
Adrian attends Neil Armstrong comprehensive school in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicester. He is not particularly clever or athletic, but gets average grades and has a few friends. At the age of 14 he comes to fancy himself an intellectual, beginning to write poetry. He finds his first girlfriend, Pandora Braithwaite, although he does not lose his virginity until several years later. Both of Adrian's parents have affairs, leading to two separations and subsequent reunions; Adrian and Pandora likewise got through a number of rough spots. Their young love, which forms the very core of Adrian's emotional life, is kept strong by mutual appreciation of art, literature, left-wing politics and romantic ideals. They are completely honest and comfortable with each other.
A habitual worrier, he broods endlessly about his acne, his parents' marital difficulties, and his relationship with Pandora. He is bullied for a time by Barry Kent, although he later joins his (Barry's) gang.
After finishing his GCSEs, he takes A-Levels, and fails all but 1 subject (English). When Pandora departs for university, Adrian remains devoted to her and corresponds regularly, but she gradually and inevitably leaves him behind. Adrian's first job after leaving school is at the local library, since he wished to immerse himself in literature; he finds the work far less rewarding than he expected - indeed, he lost his job after amalgamating Romantic Fiction with Modern Classics, much to the disgust of his boss, who proceeds to have an argument with Adrian about the relevance of Jane Austen.
Adrian is forced to leave home when he is 20, as he lied that he had gotten married when he hadn't, as his mother is determined to rent out his room. Moving in briefly with his then-girlfriend Sharon Bott and her family is nightmarish; he soon relocates to Oxford, where Pandora allows him to stay in the box room of her flat. Adrian manages to get a job as newt conservation officer at the Department of the Environment by faking an A-Level Biology certificate. He comes to despise his job, but remains there for about 2 years, all the while suffering the torment of watching Pandora get involved with a variety of other men. His parents separate again, Pauline Mole marrying her much younger lodger, Martin Muffett.
In this period, Adrian completes his two greatest creative endeavours: an epic poem entitled The Restless Tadpole and the pretentious, plotless novel "Lo, the Flat Hills of My Homeland" (later renamed "Birdwatching"). Both are described as hopelessly amateur and rejected by a number of publishers. At the same time, Adrian is amazed and appalled as Barry Kent, once a barely-literate thug, becomes a successful, respected author and poet.
In 1991 Adrian loses both his residence and his employment. He returns to Leicester and lodges first with Bert Baxter, then his grandmother Edna Mole. However, fortune smiles in the form of a new girlfriend Bianca Dartington, who gives Adrian a home in London and a job with her employer, at Savage's restaurant.
His happiness with Bianca is short-lived, as their passion soon wanes and she finally leaves him - for Pauline Mole's toyboy husband, Martin Muffet. Adrian keeps her former flat and continues working at Savage's. Shortly after, he meets the beautiful Jo-Jo who fills the void in his heart and eventually agrees to marry him. They have one child, William Mole (later William Wole). Adrian's culinary employment lasts for the next 5 years, making him an accomplished offal chef.
Adrian's marriage to Jo-Jo fails, ending when she moves back to Nigeria in early 1997.
Whilst helping out with Pandora's electoral victory celebration, 30-year-old Adrian befriends a pensioner named Archie Tait, who later dies and shockingly leaves a house to him. Adrian discovers he has an illegitimate son, Glenn, from his former relationship with Sharon. He finally achieves some measure of media attention as a TV chef, co-presenting Offally Good and being asked to author the accompanying receipe book; ironically, he finds himself unable to compose appropriate prose, and his mother has to ghost-write the book for him. Moving into his new home with his two sons and having earned a substantial royalty, Adrian seems to have a promising future - until Glenn's tutor, Eleanor Flood, develops a dangerous obsession with him. When Adrian declines to return her romantic interest, she burns his house to the ground. Only now do we learn she has a history of committing arson, and that Adrian had never bothered to take out insurance. Eleanor still occasionally writes to him despite his never ending attempts to stop the letters.
Adrian and his children are forced to move back with George and Pauline for over a year, sleeping in a single room, until he is allocated a council house on the notoriously criminal Gaitskell estate (late 1999). They fortunately avoid theft due to their state of penury, while Adrian works at a couple of low-paid temporary jobs and dates council worker Pamela Pigg, although the relationship leads nowhere. He begins two more attempts at novel-writing, which are soon abandoned. Near the end of 2001 Adrian finds permanent employment as shop assistant in Hugh Carlton-Hayes' antiquarian bookstore, a job which he enjoys. The following year, Glenn leaves to join the Army and Jo-Jo takes William to live with her in Nigeria.
With a modest but steady income and no children to support, Adrian decides to make a fresh start, taking out a mortgage on a canal-side loft apartment. He quickly borrows excessively on credit and store cards to furnish his new home. Becoming involved with flaky, neurotic New-Ager Marigold Flowers is a big mistake, as she is unwilling to terminate their relationship and fakes first appendicitis, then a pregnancy, to coerce Adrian into marriage; at the same time, he begins a passionate affair with Marigold's attractive half-sister Daisy Flowers. Daisy finally gives him the resolve to break his expensive and unwilling engagement to Marigold; whereupon Marigold finds genuine love with Bruce (Brain-Box) Henderson, while Adrian comes close to bankruptcy. He retains his job but is forced to sell his apartment and his car, then marries Daisy and moves into one of his parents' newly-converted pigsty homes, where they have an inexpensive and happy life together.
Mother: Pauline Mole (née Sugden)
Father: George Mole
Stepfather: Ivan Braithwaite
Stepmother: Tania Braithwaite
Stepfather: Martin Muffett
Maternal half-sister: Rosie Mole (father is Mr. Lucas)
Paternal half-brother: Brett Slater (mother is Doreen Slater)
Former stepsister: Pandora Braithwaite (daughter of Ivan and Tania Braithwaite)
Jo Jo Mole (divorced)
Daisy Flowers (divorced)
Glenn Bott-Mole (mother is Sharon Bott)
William Mole (mother is Jo Jo Mole)
Gracie Mole (mother is Daisy Flowers)
Paternal grandmother: Edna May Mole
Paternal grandfather: Albert Mole
Paternal aunt: Susan Mole
Maternal grandmother: Mrs. Sudgen
Maternal grandfather: Mr. Sudgen
Maternal uncle: Dennis Sudgen
Maternal aunt: Marcia (Dennis's wife)
First cousin: Maurice Sudgen
The year of Adrian's birth is usually understood to be 1967 - but is sometimes, apparently, 1968
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole has his 14th birthday as April 2, four months before the marriage of Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981, placing his birth on Sue Townsend's 21st birthday, April 2, 1967. This is confirmed in the second novel, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, which has Adrian's 16th birthday 2 months before the general election of June 9, 1983. The collection Adrian Mole: From Minor to Major stated to chronicle the first 10 years of his diaries, and ends on January 1, 1991: thus confirming the start of the first book as January 1, 1981 and Adrian's year of birth as 1967.
Howevever, the intermediate book True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole begins at Christmas 1984, when Adrian states he is 16 years and 8 months old - which would mean he was born in 1968, not 67. In a following chapter set in June 1988, his age is 20 years, 2 months, also consistent with a 1968 birth.
Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years, following From Minor to Major, has Adrian's 24th birthday in 1991 - so it seems that he was, after all, born in 1967. The next novel, Adrian Mole The Cappuccino Years, is consistent with this, beginning at the 1997 general election and giving Adrian's age as 30. Likewise, in the weekly newspaper serial Adrian Mole: Diary of a Provincial Man, Adrian has his 33rd birthday in the year 2000.
The penultimate novel, Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction, begins in late 2002 and makes Adrian only 34. In fact, on his birthday in 2003, he pointedly bemoans his turning 35 as the beginning of middle age - so, somehow, he was once again born in 1968.