Edna Purviance's bio

June 6, 2018 - Re-editing Edna Purviance's family biography 2nd Draft. Photo: Leading Ladies © used by ednapurviance.org

Friday, July 28, 2006

Misquote about Edna

Recently, an Edna fan pointed out some changes on the Wikipedia page on Edna. They sent me the information they saw. One was a misquote from a book called 'Slings and Arrows' where author Robert Lewis speaks about the day Edna visited for the screen test in 'Monsieur Verdoux'. Here is a section from Lewis's book:

Lewis remembered Edna as "... extremely handsome woman, and she was faultlessly turned out from head to foot". Lewis continues "Removing her gloves, she picked up her test scene, and the two old friends (Charlie and Edna) started to read through their parts. She did very well, talking simply and intelligently and, in fact, she hardly needed to look at her script, having memorized the lines quite thoroughly". Next Chaplin moved Edna in a scene serving tea, while saying the lines.

Lewis clearly points out, "In the silent movies (Edna) had been used to illustrating points with movement". "Talking became an intrusion that was clearly upsetting her." Edna said to Chaplin, "What do you want me to do, Charlie, she pleaded at one point, act or talk?"

This quote from Lewis's book was re-written by the author on the Wikipedia site and is not worth repeating here. It made Edna sound much different than Lewis's original quote actually says. Maybe the Wikpedia author got it from another source and just repeated it. Whatever happen, the quote on Wikipedia is gone now, as another Edna fan has changed the piece, but it is how things get misquoted, and makes a person sound like someone they really aren't. So if you quote someone, find the original source and quote as written. It is better for everyone involved.

World Premiere Edna Documentary at Cinecon Labor Day Weekend.

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