Hugo Vickers

Beautiful Charmer

Chaplin's Girl: The Life and Loves of Virginia Cherrill

By

Simon & Schuster 369pp £15.99 order from our bookshop

Miranda Seymour confesses that she had never heard of Virginia Cherrill until 2005, when she was mesmerised by her performance as the blind girl in Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film, City Lights. By then Virginia (1908–96) had been dead for nearly a decade, but Seymour heard that a long-standing friend of the actress had spent some years making tape recordings of the actress’s reminiscences, while preserving her apartment and archive intact. The author set off in quest of her, a therapeutic exercise after her previous book, a devastating and fascinating exploration of her own father (In My Father’s House, Simon & Schuster, 2007). It has proved an adventure well worth the undertaking. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'I was dumbfounded by the view of the Berlin Wall from the eastern side. It seemed inconceivable that in under thre… ,
    • RT : Danger for ‘local’ staff, access in exchange for silence (and logos) - all sounds familiar in this fascinating look… ,
    • 'He has long been eclipsed by Vermeer, though his interiors are arguably more ambitious.' David Gelber on the Dutc… ,
    • 'The wicked are truly revolting and the rage is wholly understandable' on new thrillers by John Le… ,
    • In @aaciman's sequel to 'Call Me By Your Name', 'Erotic urgency has merged with middle age’s frugality of heart', s… ,
    • 'The repression of free speech in Uganda is common. Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 Press Freedom Index ranks Ugand… ,
    • RT : The Topeka School is out today! I reviewed it for and I'm psyched to see him talking at the Tate tonigh… ,