5. CHARLIE CHAPLIN'S LONDON
Charlie Chaplin. The mere mention of the name instantly conjures up the image of a small man, wearing oversized, baggy trousers and tight black jacket, and sporting a hat, cane and toothbrush moustache.
Chaplin was the world's first film star, becoming incredibly popular as silent movies exploded in the early twentieth century, his comedy short films making him a millionaire almost overnight. But before landing in America and entering the burgeoning film industry, Chaplin had spent his early years in poverty-stricken South London, brought up by a mother struggling with mental illness, his father almost entirely absent from his young son's life.
Edgar's Guide to Charlie Chaplin's London is the ultimate walking tour around the sites of the future comic genius's boyhood, from the tucked-away church where his parents married to the workhouse the family were forced to enter when their luck finally ran out.
Highlights of Edgar's Guide to Charlie Chaplin's London.
- The bustling street on which Chaplin was born.
- The tucked-away church where his parents were married.
- The workhouse where Chaplin’s mother was forced to take herself and her sons.
- The infirmary where Mrs Chaplin was admitted through mental illness.
- The public house where Chaplin saw the man whose walk inspired his greatest comic invention.
- The “little haven” that Chaplin and his brother kept for four years.
- The spot where Chaplin waited for a date with the first girl he ever loved.
- The house where Chaplin and his brother lived with their father for an unhappy three months.
- The spot where Chaplin sat and, in the midst of his darkest despair, heard music which lifted his soul.
- The majestic building where Chaplin played with his closest childhood friend.
- The pub where Chaplin saw his father for the last time, and shared their one and only heartfelt moment.
Follow in the Footsteps of Charlie Chaplin.
This pocket-sized book is packed full of information. Our step-by-step directions will steer you around the streets of Walworth, Kennington and Lambeth, taking you to more than twenty sites associated with Chaplin's earliest days, from the street in which he was born to the apartment he furnished with brother Sydney as a bolt-hole for when they were in London following vaudeville tours - the loss of which made him determined to return to America for good. Stand on the spot outside one of the family's many homes where the young Charlie laughed at a sheep which had temporarily escaped from the herd being taken to the nearby slaughterhouse, only to then realise in horror its fate once it was recaptured, and sit at the table where Chaplin saw his father for the final time, shortly before his death.
The London Chaplin Knew.As Edgar guides you around these formative locations in the young comic's life, you will pass buildings and sites which would have also been passed on a daily basis by Chaplin himself, and learn the history behind each, including the oldest surviving Magistrates' Court in London, the small park which is now all that remains of the massively popuar Surrey Gardens and Music Hall, and the world-famous Lambeth Walk.
A Walk of Discovery.
With Edgar as your guide, you will learn the reality of the desperate struggle of those living in poverty in Victorian London, but also hear many tales of how humour was a regular feature in Chaplin's life from his earliest days - and even visit the pub where he saw a local man whose walk inspired his greatest comic invention.