Hannah Chaplin

Her lifestory

Hannah was born in London on August 6, 1865. She lived and worked as an actress and dancer. She married the entertainer Charles Chaplin in 1885 and became the mother of the later world-famous actor and director Charlie Chaplin in 1889. Life with her husband was characterized by alcoholism, beatings, gambling debts and poverty. Hannah contracted syphilis and suffered from severe depression. Her children grew up in homes and boarding schools. In 1921, Charlie brought her to the USA, bought her a house in Hollywood and organized nursing staff for her. She died there in 1928 at the age of 63 without knowing how famous her son was.

Before the birth

Hannah Chaplin lived in miserable conditions before the birth of her son Charlie. Having a child in her financial situation was a disaster. Although abortion was forbidden by law, it was common practice at the time. So-called „abortifacients“ – pills to kill unborn babies were discreetly available in every backyard and were also advertised in newspapers. The alternative was to give birth and place the child in a home. Christian institutions looked after the many street children in London. Hannah ultimately decided to have the child. We don’t know the reasons for this.