I recently received a review copy of the forthcoming U.S. edition of the Peter Ackroyd bio of Chaplin and what a sloppy, poorly-researched mess it was. It’s clear that the author did no actual research and just rehashed other bios, including Lita Grey’s first book which he seems to take at face value. Hell, eventually, even Lita didn’t. If this isn’t bad enough, there are caption errors galore. Glaring ones. I doubt I am the only one who looks at photos before they read a book and these errors will be obvious to any Chaplin fan or film historian. I did notify Random House of the caption mistakes and they told me they were “looking into it” and would make sure they were corrected for future printings. We shall see…
Meanwhile, here are a few of the caption blunders. It’s evident that Ackroyd and/or his publisher just used the captions that were provided by their photo sources (Getty, New York Daily News, etc) without double-checking them to make sure they were correct. If I’ve learned anything from research, it’s that you can never trust the captions on stock image websites.
|The only thing correct about this caption is the date.|
|Nope, this is Chaplin signing his contract with Mutual in 1916.|
|This is actually a photo of Chaplin & Raquel Meller in 1926.
To me, this error is egg on the face of Ackroyd and his publisher.
|Lita is not marrying Chaplin here, but signing her contract to be his leading lady
in The Gold Rush.