Charlie Chaplin’s Own Story
Being the Faithful Recital of a Romantic Career, Beginning with Early Recollections of Boy-Hood in London
and Closing with the Signing of His Latest Motion-Picture Contract.
Edited & With Introduction By Harry Geduld
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EXTREMELY RARE AND CONTROVERSIAL
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This is the first of Chaplin’s two published autobiographies covering the period of Chaplin’s life from his obscure birth to his signing, in 1916, of a $670,000 contract with the Mutual Film Corporation. This book, fraught with controversy, has oftentimes been dismissed as a ghostwritten and unreliable fabrication of Chaplin’s life. This work is the most elaborate and intriguing of Chaplin’s fictionalized self-portraits. Professor Geduld’s detailed introduction provides an authoritative account of Chaplin’s theatrical career, which Chaplin covers erratically. Extensive annotations deal with little-known aspects of Chaplin’s early life.
This controversial work is legendary in film history. At the time of publication, Chaplin ordered his publisher to destroy all copies. A few copies, including one in the Library of Congress, survived. The book’s authorship is still disputed (did Chaplin write it and have second thoughts about its embellishments? Was it ghost-written by novelist Rose Wilder Lane, who is thanked by Chaplin for “invaluable editorial assistance”?). The book seems to be based on interviews and articles published under Chaplin’s name in newspapers and magazines. One example of Chaplin’s penchant for mythmaking is his strong desire to make his childhood more miserable than it was, and his Dickensian account-in the 1916 work and in My Autobiography-seems to echo Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. The same creative energy that went into the creation of his film personae is revealed in his autobiographies. This book is important in revealing what Chaplin thought of himself.
This book is very, very scarce. There are only one or two in the market right now.
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Publisher: The Bobbs-Merill Company, New York
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CONDITION: This book is in very good condition. Hardcover. Red boards with minimal shelf wear. Some rubbing along edges and corners. Gilt titles on spine slightly faded. Hinges strong, binding sturdy. Frontispiece page is loose. There is a stain on first page of TOC. Loose B&W plate between page 49-50. Pencil inscription on inside front cover. Text block is clean and crisp as are all black and white plates. Magnificent. Highly collectible.
257 pages, 5.5” x 7″