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Charles Hawtrey 1914-1988: The Man Who Was Private Widdle, by Roger Lewis, is a small masterpiece of biographical investigation, shining a light on the comic genius of the Carry On films.
Roger Lewis is the author of The Life and Death of Peter Sellers ('His research here has staggering breadth and depth, as does his relentless power of insight tempered with humanity.' The Hollywood Reporter), which is being developed as a biopic by HBO, and The Real Life of Laurence Olivier ('A passionate and monumental celebration of a genius.' Arthur Miller in the Sunday Times), which has formed the basis of a documentary for Channel 4. His biography of Anthony Burgess is published by Faber, in November 2002.
'A winningly queer little book about a winningly queer little man.' Matthew Sweet, Independent on Sunday; 'A pungent, opinionated and brilliantly intuitive biography of the saddest act in the history of British cinema... Lewis, in this diverting little book, hits on Hawtrey... and distils something alchemical from his sadness: a quintessence of a sort of Englishness.' New Statesman