The Great Charlie by Robert Payne
Baggy trousers, huge out-turned boots, a dilapidated bowler-hat, and an absurd toothbrush moustache — that’s the Charlie Chaplin we all love.
This book, written after many discussions with Charlie himself, describes his personality as revealed in his chief films and tells much about his life — his precarious London childhood, his early stage work, his screen comedies with Fred Karno and Mack Sennett, his triumphs in the later great films including Limelight.
Payne also traces the development of the Clown from Ancient Greece through Pierrot and Punch, Grimaldi and Dan Leno, and shows how Charlie’s genius for creating laughter follows that great tradition.
Robert Payne (1911-1983) was the author of many notable works, including The Rise and Fall of Stalin, The Life and Death of Lenin and The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. Born in England, he was a constant world traveller, a keen observer, but always the biographer, historian, novelist, poet and translator.