Descripción de editorial
This biography offers a “vivid portrayal” of the eighteenth-century English entertainer who “invented the figure of the classic clown that we know today” (The Guardian).
The son of a deranged Italian immigrant, Joseph Grimaldi (1778–1837) was the most celebrated of English clowns. The first to use white-face makeup and wear outrageous colored clothes, he completely transformed the role of the Clown in the pantomime with a look as iconic as Chaplin’s Tramp. One of the first celebrity comedians, his friends included Lord Byron and the actor Edmund Kean—and his memoirs were edited by a young Charles Dickens.
But underneath the stage paint, Grimaldi struggled with depression, and his life was blighted with tragedy. His first wife died in childbirth, and his son would go on to drink himself to death. The outward joy and tomfoolery of his performances masked a dark and depressing personal life, and instituted the modern figure of the glum, brooding comedian.
In this “exuberant, impassioned portrait,” biographer Andrew McConnell Stott presents a man who left an indelible mark on the English theatre and the performing arts, but whose legacy is one of human struggle, battling demons and giving it his all in the face of adversity (The Guardian).