covered, nearly ankle-deep, with filth and mire; a thick steam, perpetually rising from the reeking bodies of the cattle, and mingling with the fog, which seemed to rest upon the chimney-tops, hung heavily above. All the pens in the centre of the large area, and as many temporary pens as could be crowded into the vacant space, were filled with sheep; tied up to posts by the gutter side were long lines of beasts and oxen, three or four deep. Countrymen, butchers, drovers, hawkers, boys, thieves, idlers, and vagabonds of every low grade, were mingled together in a mass; the whistling of drovers, the barking dogs, the bellowing and plunging of the oxen, the bleating of sheep, the grunting and squeaking of pigs, the cries of hawkers, the shouts, oaths, and quarrelling on all sides; the ringing of bells and roar of voices, that issued from every public-house; the crowding, pushing, driving, beating, whooping and yelling; the hideous and discordant dim that resounded from every corner of the market; and the unwashed, unshaven, squalid, and dirty figures constantly running to and fro, and bursting in and out of the throng; rendered it a stunning and bewildering scene, which quite confounded the senses."
David Robinson, in his monumental work on Chaplin, offers this about Charlie's birth, while talking about Charles Sr. and Hannah: "Charles and Hannah were not so meticulous in registering Charles's birth as Sydney's; and it has tormented historians and biograhers for decades that there is no official record of the birth of London's most famous son. .... In the early days of his cinema fame, Chaplin said that he was born at Fontainebleau, in France. This mlay have been one of the colourful stories with which Hannah seems to have endeavoured to brighten her sons' lives. Later Chaplin was certain that he was born in East Lane, Walworth, just round the corner from Sydney's birthplace in Brandon Street." "Chaplin: His Life and Art" by Robinson
My friend Carl Sturmer spends a lot of time in London. Which is terrific, because he's a big fan of Chaplin. Here are some photos he sent me a few months ago, places associated with Chaplin.
Carl and I had lunch at this incredible pub in New York's Greenwich Village.
The Olive Tree Cafe shows Chaplin movies from morning until night. And the food is pretty awesome too. He introduced me to it over a year ago, and I returned there with my wife and daughter last September.
The other two photos are of 19th century London, compliments of Google.
The Tower Bridge (right) was built in 1894.