Edna Purviance's bio

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

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Sea Gull at ednapurviance.com

Some Reviews and Comments

"THE SEA GULL is an important contribution to film history, and worth buying for the stills alone. The look of the film, revealed in these marvellous photographs, makes it all the more tragic that it was destroyed.

This book provides the nearest experience we will have to seeing it. Thank you for all the hard work. It is much appreciated."

Kevin Brownlow - Silent Film Historian - London, England

"It is beautiful, informative and edifying all at once.
All your hard work has resulted in a marvelous achievement.
It's a great work and beautifully presented."

David W. Toll - Nevada Writer - Nevada

"I congratulate you on a very interesting and attractive book...
I really hope it may lead to the discovery of other material about The Seagull."

Kate Guyonvarch - Association Chaplin - Paris, France

"Let me first congratulate you on the fruition of your years of research and dedication to Chaplin's leading lady Edna Purviance.

I'm sure that Chaplin and Edna fans alike appreciate your efforts and commitments.

This ground breaking work has greatly enriched our understanding of Edna's life and works, and uncovered much of the mystery around "A Woman of the Sea," Chaplin's lost film.

Not for your dedication and perseverance, we might never even have a glimpse of the film.

I like the design of the book in particular. It looks very clean and classy. The stills from "The Sea Gull - A Woman of the Sea" with the reconstructed story line are no doubt the brightest spots of the book.

They not only help us better understand the film but also offer us an opportunity to appreciate the photography, the set, the decoration, the costume and of course the actors.

So "The Sea Gull - A Woman of the Sea" is not completely lost after all.

The book makes pleasant reading, with so many eye-catching still photos and a well-balanced story of Edna's private and professional life.

I hope you'll give us a fuller account of Edna's life and career before and after "The Sea Gull - A Woman of the Sea" in future editions."

Ted Lu - Discover Chaplin - Montreal, Canada

Some Comments from Fans

"Almost Speechless! ...the book is PHENOMENAL! ... is even better than I imagined! I am so impressed. This is such a great contribution to Chaplin/Edna scholarship, and I applaud your hard work and dedication." - PC

"Received "The Sea Gull" book this afternoon. What an outstanding treasure trove of outstanding pictures and research. Thank goodness Edna fans (and Edna herself) have someone like you to create such a wonderful book!!" - MM

"...it blew me away, it's amazing, better than I could have imagined." - GCE

"The book is beautiful!" - DH

"Reading it was a real pleasure. It's very well conceived, with images illustrating perfectly the story. The progression towards the shooting of the film is very clear for every star involved (Edna, Charlie, Von Sternberg...). It's one of the most enjoyable books I've read about Chaplin. One point strucks me when seeing the pictures of Edna in A Woman of the Sea: She's so fresh and beautiful in these pictures!" - DD

"I received my book!!!!! It is wonderful. I enjoy to see pictures of Edna I never seen before." - FB

"I think it looks smashing. The photos are so interesting, Ellie had a treasure of images for sure. Really you guys did a wonderful job and Lita was so pleased. What you left for her certainly helped her to pass from this world knowing Edna's story would go on forever." - BT

"Great book!" - BK

"How beautiful, great book this is! Your matchless ultimate work help us to make unknown facts clear about the lost film and Edna." - SO

"I can't tell you how exquisite the Sea Gull book is!!! We were looking through it last night, ooohing and aaahing. The layout, the photos, the writing, the paper, the printing--everything is just perfect." - MM

"Beautiful book!" - JM

"You have done a really magnificent job! The book is beautiful and the photos are so crisp & clear. I have read almost all of it already and am sure I will be re-looking and re-reading for some time to come - at least until the bio comes out!" - MC

"It's beautifully produced, the page quality and picture clarity are exceptionally good, the 8X10 (the front cover still) of Edna was a fine choice, and nicely protected. All of your careful personal touches - the handwritten card, especially - were thoughtful, and appreciated. The scholarship in it also was important, just the basic outline you provided in it on Edna's personal history alone was more than most of us have been able to learn about her before..." - HM

See ednapurviance.com for more...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Lita Hill has died...

Lita Hill, Edna Purviance's grand niece, passed away on Monday morning, January 21, 2008. She was surrounded by her family and friends. She will be greatly missed by all of us who knew her.

- January 22, 2008
(I will have a special page dedicated to Lita in the near future.)

Update January 2010

Video Links
Lita's first job
Lita with a good friend
Behind the scenes with Lita

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Latest Post Listings

• Grand View Money Problems more>
• Latest Thierry G. Mathieu's Chaplin at Keystone magazine
• Cult Prints: Limited edition museum-quality print of Charlie Chaplin
• Dominique's collection: Chaplin et Les Memmes, by Nadia Mef
• Also check out
The Festival of Lost Films at The Bioscope
• Jan. 20th: Actress Suzanne Pleshette has died. She was 70.
Also, I am still thinking about Lita's special page. Just will take sometime to create, but it is the hardest page I ever had to create.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Sea Gull is RELEASED!!!!

Shop is open with books in stock.

Fifty years ago today, we lost Edna to our world. And while Edna was forgotten by the masses, she was not forgotten by her fans. She remains a significant figure in silent film lore, and is fondly remembered by Chaplin fans.

Today, on this 50th anniversary of her passing, we have reason to celebrate! The event is the first book ever published about Edna, an effort we hope will help awaken Edna's memory among film fans worldwide.

Edna Purviance was one of Hollywood's most private film stars, and as a result, even during her film years, little was ever disclosed about her as a person. Today marks a new chapter in learning about the woman who was Chaplin's most endearing and enduring leading lady.

The Sea Gull - "A Woman of the Sea" – is the first-ever publication to feature Edna Purviance. This book is about her lost 1926 film, directed by Josef von Sternberg, who would later create "The Blue Angel" starring Marlene Dietrich. This would be the only film produced by Charlie Chaplin that did not feature Chaplin as director or actor. The film would never be seen by the public, and the story behind its creation and demise is fascinating. The book features over 50 recently discovered, and never-before-published production still photos from the film.

Noted director and film historian Kevin Brownlow has viewed the book, and he notes:

" the film revealed in these marvelous photographs, makes it all the more tragic that it was destroyed... This book provides the nearest experience we will have to seeing it."

So for about the price of an evening for four at the movies, you can order a seat for your own special viewing. Help us create a shining star for the leading lady you have enjoyed so much.

Link to the Home of The Sea Gull, ednapurviance.com

The morning after, many thanks everyone...

Special Post today, from a longtime Edna fan...
I spotted a very nice post today, from a longtime Edna fan and supporter. If you visit Edna's site at all, you will see the name Garen Ewing. Garen is a very talented artist whose work I have been following for years. I have credited Garen for getting me on the web in the first place, when I sent him my very first Edna site link, long before it was ednapurviance.org.

Garen created and ran the popular Chaplin UK, as well as worked with the Chaplin Society. I use to visit his sites all the time, but never wrote in, being too shy to do so, but loved his work. I met Garen and Dominique (our Chaplin Library founder) in the spring of 2001. They have been great supporters ever since. So thank you Garen, for the very nice post in remembering Edna today. She would have been pleased...

Special Thanks to Bioscope
And another special thanks to Luke and the excellent team at Bioscope! Always a great read for everything silent. And watch them as they start their special Bioscope Festival of Lost Films. Thanks Luke!

UPDATE APRIL 12, 2008 - I have learned that Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy will be holding a major presentation about Josef von Sternberg at their festival, June 28-July 5, 2008. The information from Italy also mentions a presentation on The Sea Gull is planned. I don't know anymore about this event at this time.

UPDATE MAY 2009: After over a year, we are in the process of ending our First Edition of The Sea Gull. If you like First Edition books, do get your orders in soon, as supplies are getting low. Thanks to everyone (worldwide) for making the First Edition a greater success, than we hoped.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Discover Chaplin updating their web site

January 31, 2008 - If you noticed that the Discover Chaplin web site has been down, you are right. Ted Lu informed me they were updating their web site. I have left their link on Edna's sites awaiting their return to the web.

Grand View Money Problems

January 16, 2008 - Owners are trying to find solutions to help repair and reopen Grand View:

"As workers continue to clean up Grand View Memorial Park, stakeholders in the beleaguered cemetery are searching for a financial solution to cover the costs of reopening the facility to public visits." - Glendale News

more> Article is available online for free only 14 days after release.

Chaplin et Les Femmes by Nadia Meflah

Always nice to see any of Chaplin's leading ladies sharing the cover with Charlie.

Dominique Dugro shares with us from his Chaplin collection: Nadia Meflah latest book which has Edna sharing the cover with Charlie in Meflah's newly released book: Chaplin et les Femmes.

Nadia Meflah
is the main contributor at charliechaplin.net. (French web site.) Image is from The Bond.

Limited Edition Charlie Chaplin Print Available

Cult Prints is offering a rare museum-quality limited edition print of Charlie Chaplin available for your collection.

"Overseen by the Worlds Leading Chaplin Expert: This print is made even more special by the fact that its production has been overseen by the BFI's "guiding light" on all Chaplin projects, David Robinson. David is a film critic, historian and lifelong Chaplin researcher who authored the definitive Chaplin biography, Chaplin: His Life and Art. He also worked as the historical consultant on Lord Attenborough's BAFTA-winning film about the actor's life.
We are thrilled to have worked alongside the world's leading Chaplin expert on this unique and discerning print for fans of Charlie Chaplin everywhere. We are also pleased to confirm that the first 100 prints ordered will be accompanied by a hand-signed letter from David Robinson." - Cult Prints

There are 495, hand-numbered prints. Size 35mm x 40mm. Licensed by Bubbles Incorporated, it is available for £99.99 (over $200 at current exchange rates).

Learn more at Cult Prints >

Latest La Naissance De Charlot! Keystone 1914

Thierry G. Mathieu has his latest edition of La Naissance De Charlot! Keystone 1914 #18 available! A great way to enjoy the films in print.

More at Chaplin at Keystone.

N° 18 : 258 pages ; 232 illustrations
Size : 5.6 x 8.1 inch.
Price :15 euros
Shipment cost :
Airmail Priority : 7 euros
Airmail Economic : 5 euros

New Site and book will launch here at midnight

I will place a special post at Edna's Place at 12Midnight, Pacific Coast Time. Also watch ednapurviance.org site for more.

More about The Sea Gull book:
A special feature of new book The Sea Gull is a 52 page gallery that shows over 50 production stills of the film, along with the original title narrative created for the 1926 film. It is the most complete reconstruction of the film to date.

The whole book is printed in color, so you can see the original tones of the black and white prints and as well as some surprises.

In other news, here is an article about the screening of Pandora's Box at the Bristol Silents (Slapstick), January 20, 2008, at the Colston Hall in Bristol, England. BBC article>

Friday, January 11, 2008

Two Days to Go!

Until the release of The Sea Gull! Actually, we are well into Friday now, in most of the world, so a bit less.

In other news, here is an article from the Guardian Unlimited about Theda Bara, and how modern eyes see yesterday's stars. more>

And from the just plain strange file, a novel written by Tim Powers. Released in November 2007, it apparently features a character seeing Chaplin's lost film production "A Woman of the Sea." The book is called Three Days to Never.

Amazon review says:
"his 12-year-old daughter, Daphne, steals a videotape from the old woman's Pasadena house that turns out to be a Chaplin film long believed lost. Before Daphne can finish watching the film, its powerful symbolism awakens a latent pyrokinetic ability in her that burns the tape."

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three Days to go!

Until the release of The Sea Gull.

Since January 13th starts long before it reaches the west coast time zone, ednapurviance.org will have the first links to the new site. Also, I will post a special notice here, at Edna's Place, Sunday morning at midnight Pacific Coast Time.

As part of our 'Grand Opening' of the new ednapurviance.com site coming Sunday, there will be a One Day Only Special Offer available on the site until midnight, Sunday night, Pacific Coast Time.

Read our special post for more details. >

Hollywood's Honorary Major Johnny Grant Died
In other news, the Honorary Major of Hollywood, Johnny Grant, has died at the age of 84. Being a lifelong bachelor, Grant lived in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and has been host to Hollywood Walk of Fame events over the years. more>

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Four days to go!

Until we launch the web site home of The Sea Gull at ednapurviance.com. This new web site is our new 'sister' site to ednapurviance.org.

We have been asked if the book would be available elsewhere. Due to a $24 retail markup, which would have made our per book price over $60, we decided against it to help keep the book cost down. For the time being, it will only be available at ednapurviance.com.

If you haven't read it yet, do read our special information post about SG. Link> Also, I've updated A Brief Glimpse. >

In other news, you may have heard the Oscars may not be on television this year either, as the Golden Globes broadcast has been canceled. I never really watched the Globes, but I do watched the Oscars every year. It's where I first saw Charlie Chaplin! But I do support the writers in the strike, as their needs are more important.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Five days to go!

Until Sunday's release of The Sea Gull. You will be able to order a copy starting Sunday. Also, I am planning an one day Internet offer on Sunday, to help celebrate the event.

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Woman of the Sea on Top 10 List?

Interesting read this morning, as a site called Film Threat placed The Sea Gull "A Woman of the Sea" as their Top 10 Lost Film. Link to List>

Charlie Chaplin at the Elsinore in Salem, Or.

Elsinore Theater - Salem, Oregon

Live near Salem? The Elsinore Theater in Salem, Oregon will feature Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times and The Gold Rush, during their Winter Film Series 2008. Check their list for other silent films between January and February.

The Elsinore Theater was originally built in the 1920s as a picture palace and has the 'Mighty Wurlitzer Organ' played by Rick Parks. more>

February 20, 2008 - Modern Times - 7PM
February 27, 2008 - The Gold Rush - 7PM

Mini tour of the theater taken in 2001 >

Six days and counting!

To the launch of the new .com site and the release of the book The Sea Gull "A Woman of the Sea"!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


Special thanks to everyone who has signed the list, as it reaches 500! The Edna Facebook group knew it would be a long haul, but each signature gets closer to the goal. Many thanks, everyone.

One Week to Go!

The Sea Gull will be released in one week! Do read the special information post!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Grand View gets needed work and rain

January 3, 2008 - Grand View is finally getting much needed work done. And as more rainstorms hit the area, crews have finished an above-ground irrigation system. It will help in the future, but will not help the seriously damaged trees from the drought.

More from the Glendale News:
"Since work to abate fire-safety hazards at Grand View Memorial Park began on Dec. 27, maintenance crews have completed installation of an above-ground irrigation system at the beleaguered cemetery and continue to chip away at overgrown shrubbery and brittle trees.

...The top of a full-grown palm tree had tumbled at least 50 feet to the ground, landing just feet from graves, as if the tree had been beheaded.

Goldsman was ordered by the state in August to sell the cemetery within three years, and he said prospective buyers are showing interest. At least two interested parties have visited the facility, he said.

The City Council could vote to recommit resources to the park in order to reopen it, but Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian has been reluctant to promise taxpayer dollars without an exit strategy for the city.
Attorneys remain in the pretrial stage for pending suits targeting Grand View. A status conference is set for Feb. 6, when Baum is expected to present a progress report on the cemetery’s maintenance work." - Glendale News

More at this link. Link will be active on the web for 14 days from date of article.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Slapstick 2008 coming soon!

It may seem quiet on the blog at the moment, but things are very busy getting ready for SG's release.

Just wish I did live in England, for I would hop on a train to Bristol to see Slapstick 2008, coming January 17-20, 2008. If you are in the area, do try to go by...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

We hope your new year has started off well! We like to thank all our readers in 2007, and especially the last couple of weeks. We ended 2007 with a record breaking month for visits and a record breaking year overall. As for my holiday, it was spent in getting The Sea Gull ready for release. The new web site is nearly complete, with finishing touches happening now.

I know it has been a long wait, but won't be long now...