Matthijs de Ridder / Matthijs de Ridder – The Age of Charlie Chaplin

Matthijs de Ridder – The Age of Charlie Chaplin

Matthijs de Ridder – The Age of Charlie Chaplin

About the book

The story of a turbulent era, beheld through the lens of a film icon


From the moment Charlie Chaplin appeared on the silver screen in 1914, his rise was meteoric. Within a year, he had become the most famous man on the planet and his tramp the icon of the art form of the twentieth century: the cinema.
The popularity of Chaplin’s small tramp was so overwhelming that he had an enormous influence outside of the cinemas as well. Allied soldiers in both world wars considered him a brother in arms, avant-garde artists him a muse, in the eyes of the Russian revolutionaries he lead the resistance against big industry and for many Americans he was the symbol par excellence of the American dream. Chaplin was, for better or for worse, dragged into the heated social debate of his time and always played his part.


In The Age of Charlie Chaplin, Matthijs de Ridder dazzlingly writes about an artist who managed to embody all of the important themes of the twentieth century. This book is a phenomenal cultural history of a troubled age that determines our view of the world to this day.

Matthijs de Ridder takes the place of Chaplin’s camera and in doing so bridges his personal story with the larger, collective history. Masterfully written and documented. A immense pleasure to read. - PHILIPP BLOM, AUTHOR

Charlie Chaplin constantly laid connections to the political world in his comedies. Matthijs de Ridder exposes the wickerwork. **** - DE STANDAARD

De Ridder pushes the reader into the cinema with determination and explains image after image how the films expressed their maker’s ideas and intentions with the utmost care. A fascinating tale. A revelation. - DE MORGEN


Matthijs de Ridder (1979) is a writer and critic. He edited the work of Louis Paul Boon, Paul van Ostaijen and Gaston Bursens. He also wrote the acclaimed works To Borms: Willem Elsschot, a political writer (2007), Rebellious Rhythms: How Jazz and Literature Found One Another (2012) and Maintain the Desire: A Literary History 1984-2014 (2014).

© Koen Broos

Additional book information

  • Biography
  • ISBN 9789023498582
  • Number of pages: 1408
  • World rights: De Bezige Bij
  • Price: € 29,99