Letter: Chaplin's childhood

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Letter: Chaplin's childhood

Sir: Your article (18 November) on a newly discovered film on the life of Charlie Chaplin suggested that Chaplin didn't want it released because it "revealed his working-class beginnings" - implying that he was a snob.

Chaplin constantly spoke about his horrendous Lambeth childhood and wrote about it at length in his autobiography. He spoke about his birthplace at East Lane, Walworth, and how, when his mother was taken into a mental hospital, he endured first the horror of a Victorian orphanage and then his struggle to survive the streets by scavenging for food out of hotel dustbins.

If Chaplin didn't wish the film to be released it was probably because he objected to impersonators. While he lived his screen character was his own copyright.


Brentwood, Essex