Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Hardback Chatto & Windus

By (author) Peter Ackroyd

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  • Publisher: CHATTO & WINDUS
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 200mm x 30mm | 380g
  • Publication date: 3 April 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 070116994X
  • ISBN 13: 9780701169947
  • Sales rank: 73,042

Product description

He was the very first icon of the silver screen, and is one of the most recognisable faces in Hollywood, even a hundred years on from his first film. But what of the man behind the moustache? The director holding the camera as well as acting in front of it? Peter Ackroyd's new biography turns the spotlight on Chaplin's life as well as his work, from his humble theatrical beginnings in music halls to winning an honorary Academy Award. Everything is here, from the glamour of his golden age to the murky scandals of the 1940s and eventual exile to Switzerland. This masterful brief life offers fresh revelations about one of the most familiar faces of the last century and brings the Little Tramp into vivid colour.

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Author information

Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning historian, biographer, novelist, poet and broadcaster. He is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River as well as biographies of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens, William Blake, Wilkie Collins, Thomas More and, most recently, Charlie Chaplin. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature's William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.

Review quote

"Haunting... Brilliant and unsparing" -- Simon Callow Guardian "Compact, engrossing, intelligent" -- John Carey Sunday Times "Chaplin's rise makes an enthralling story, and it's one perfectly suited to Peter Ackroyd's prodigious and idiosyncratic talents... Ackroyd acknowledges Chaplin's many human failings, while at the same time giving us a vivid sense of what made the man a genius" -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett The Telegraph "A beautifully judged book, driven by a powerful sense of life's sadness" -- Craig Brown Mail on Sunday "[A] fine biography... The luxury of a short book about a vast life cannot be overestimated" -- Susie Boyt Financial Times "Ackroyd has turned in the best account of Chaplin's formation beneath the teetering chimney stacks of Victorian London, fragrant with the odours of dung, smoke and beer... Ackroyd is just the man to puncture the whoppers with which Chaplin embroidered his past, without being too much of a scold" -- Tom Shone New Statesman "Ackroyd brings a novelist's as well as a biographer's eye to the story of a man who "seemed to epitomise the human condition itself, flawed and frail and funny" Independent "Ackroyd digs deeply at the roots of a man who was a century ago the most famous person on the planet... bringing vividly to life the dark Victorian streets of south London" -- Gerard Henderson Daily Express "This biography is like the wedge the Little Tramp liberates from beneath a docked ocean liner in Modern Times: it starts a thing of unstoppable momentum" Monocle "Perceptive and judicious" -- Rupert Christiansen Literary Review