Rupert Christiansen

Ladies and the Tramp

Charlie Chaplin

By

Chatto & Windus 272pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

When the mad Major in Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies writes his daughter a fabulously large cheque, he invalidates it by appending the signature ‘Charlie Chaplin’. It’s a telling instance of the unique hold that for some 25 years – from 1915 to 1940, say – the quaintly endearing personage of the Little Tramp, accident-prone and cheated of his due but doggedly hopeful, resourceful and resilient, exercised over the Western world’s imagination

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