Gloucester County Council
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
Available at Cheltenham, Cirencester, Stroud and Tewkesbury.
"Haunting... Brilliant and unsparing"
Guardian||"Compact, engrossing, intelligent"
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"
The Telegraph||"A beautifully judged book, driven by a powerful sense of life's sadness"
Mail on Sunday||"[A] fine biography. The luxury of a short book about a vast life cannot be overestimated"
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"
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"
Daily Express||"This biography is like the wedge the Little Tramp liberates from beneath a docked ocean liner inModern Times: it starts a thing of unstoppable momentum"
Monocle||"Perceptive and judicious"