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Record 5310

Reading Experience:

'Charlie Chaplin was a classic autodidact, always struggling to make up for a dismally inadequate education, groping haphazardly for what he called "intellectual manna"... Chaplin could be found in his dressing room studying a Latin-English dictionary, Robert Ingersoll's secularist propaganda, Emerson's "Self- Reliance" ("I felt I had been handed a golden birthright"), Irving, Hawthorne, Poe, Whitman, Twain, Hazlitt, all five volumes of Plutarch's Lives, Plato, Locke, Kant, Freud's "Psychoneurosis", Lafcadio "Hearn's Life and Literature", and Henri Bergson - his essay on laughter, of course... Chaplin also spent forty years reading (if not finishing) the three volumes of "The World as Will and Idea" by Schopenhauer, whose musings on suicide are echoed in Monsieur Verdoux'.
Century: 1900-1945
Date: unknown
Country: n/a
Time: n/a
Place: other location: in dressing room on film set
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Charles Spencer Chaplin
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 16 Apr 1889
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: actor
Religion: n/a
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: n/a
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Title: [unknown]
Genre: Fiction
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 5310  
Source - Print  
  Author: Jonathan Rose
  Editor: n/a
  Title: The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes
  Place of Publication: New Haven
  Date of Publication: 2001
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 378
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (New Haven, 2001), p. 378,, accessed: 16 June 2024

Additional comments:

See Charles Chaplin, 'My Autobiography' (New York, 1968), and David Robinson, 'Chaplin: His Life and Art' (London, 1985).



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)