Reviews and Comments
Dec. 2009 - Examiner
Best Recent Film Books

"...The Seagull/Woman of the Sea (1926), one of the most famous “lost films” of all time." - Il Cinema Ritrovato

Reviews and Fan Comments about The Sea Gull

August 2010 - Leonard Maltin, USA Film Reviewer and Critic
Link to his Review of 'The Sea Gull', of
Leonard Maltin, Movie Crazy

Kevin Brownlow - Silent Film Historian - London, England
"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."

Thomas Gladysz - Writer/Reviewer - San Francisco Examiner
"Had you not known it was self-published, any reader would assume this book the product of a major concern. It’s beautifully printed. The layout is attractive, and the text is informative. And what’s more, it’s the only book on an interesting and worthwhile subject... Obviously a labor of love, this fine book is an appealing look into the past." - Examiner, syndicated nationally, USA, full article

John Baxter - author - Paris, France
"Thanks for sending THE SEA GULL so promptly. It's a fascinating piece of research - particularly since von Sternberg has been almost a lifelong interest. My most sincere congratulations."

Lon Davis, author - Silent Lives: 100 Biographies of the Silent Film Era
"For years I have read about the lost Chaplin-Von Sternberg-Purviance film, A Woman of the Sea, but I never thought I would see more of it. Thanks to the work that Linda and Wesley Wada have done, I can now envision what it may have been.

Linda’s book, The Sea Gull, is an astonishing accomplishment. The sheer quality of the photographs, and the overall presentation, will give silent film aficionados a book they will cherish forever."

David W. Toll - Nevada Writer - Edna Purviance Fan
"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."

Luke McKernan - Bioscope - London, England

"...really is a remarkable production, engagingly written and beautifully designed. It does more than give self-publishing a good name - it makes it something imperative for anyone with the knowledge, vision and ability to write. It's a real contribution to film history."

Phil Wickham - The Douglas Centre - University of Exeter, England
"We have now catalogued this and the book is available in our library for researchers to consult. Congratulations on the book, which is a very beautiful and fascinating record of the film and Edna Purviance’s career."

Kate Guyonvarch - Association Chaplin - Paris, France
"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."

Charles Lonberger - Beverly Hills Outlook - Beverly Hills, California
"This book, compiled by Linda Wada, is as close to a reconstruction of the legendary, lost film, A Woman of the Sea as we will ever get, and is a Godsend to the film historian... This book’s real value lies in the light it sheds on director Josef von Sternberg’s genesis as a cineaste. ...a must have for the connoisseur of cinema."

Gerald Smith - Then and Now (Third Edition)
"Looking forward to your next book! And, wanted to publicly thank you for putting together Sea Gull; a complete joy!"

Ted Lu - Discover Chaplin - Montreal, Canada
"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."

Steve Weissman - author of 'Chaplin A Life'
"I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I thought the text and photos were fascinating."

Some Comments from Fans bought The Sea Gull

"I want to see the film, now more than ever. Still, I do feel now that I can write something about it. Many thanks to Edna, you, and all the people who helped you with this invaluable book." - Robert Regan

"I am very pleased with it and have to say I am very impressed with the presentation and the overall look of the book. Yourself and Wes have done fantastic work on this project. Also thanks again for the signatures. I will so treasure this book for years to come." - DL, Europe, Third Revised Edition

"Just a note to say how much I appreciated your book. Packed with fascination information and wonderful images - obviously a labor of love with you have good reason to be proud of.
- TL, Third Revised Edition

"... the photographs of seagull are great."
- BK, Europe, Third Revised Edition (also bought First Edition)

"Just wanted to let you know that I received my copy of your book a couple of days ago, and I love it! The book is really beautiful. I commend you for all your research into the background of the film - the combination of your narrative with the film's surviving titles and the gorgeous photographs really gives a wonderful sense of the film, and how much we've lost not being able to see it." - JH, USA, Third Revised Edition

"The book arrived - and it's lovely. I had it delivered to work where we know a little about publishing. My colleagues and I all agreed that you did a marvelous job, not only with the copy and design, but with choosing a printer." - Arlene Witt (New York)

"I think that you have every reason to be proud of it! The
photo reproductions are extraordinary and the narrative is well-
written and balanced. It's clear that you put in a lot of time and
effort, and I'm grateful to you for it."I sincerely hope that The Sea Gull and eventually The Angel From Nevada will reach a wide audience for you and, of course, Edna.
- W. Ayrovainen

"I wanted you to know that I received today (Friday, November 21st) my copy of "The Sea Gull." WOW! I mean . . . WOW! How impressive! Although I have only flipped through the pages, it appears to be far better than I was expecting. I'm really excited to read it and take my time gazing at the photos.

I've been frustrated trying to find something/anything on Edna Purviance. This woman was Charlie Chaplin's leading lady for SO many films, and while it is understandable that there are a gazillion books, documentaries, etc., on Chaplin, it is INCREDIBLE to me that I could find NOTHING on Edna on And then while desperately searching I came across your website and saw "The Sea Gull," and thought I'd take a chance on it. Even though I've not yet read the book in its entirety, I am confident that my gamble paid off: this looks like a really, really quality book.

Thank you! And having a personalized, signed copy makes it immeasurably more special to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

- D. Kenyon

"Speaking of books. I've been meaning to write you about the Edna book. It is absolutely wonderful. Bill read it first and raved about the writing, research, and organization. I can see how much went into that, even if it was a labor of love, it had to be an enormous task. Linda where do you get your energy? The publishing process can be daunting. I'm sure it helps to work as a team on something of this size. Anyway, the result is magnificent and you should be very proud."
- KW

"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

"I bought your book "The Sea Gull". You and Wes did a wonderful job, and I am amazed that you accomplished so much with your research of gathering all the data in the book." - ST (purchased at gift shop in Lovelock)

"It is gorgeous –masterfully laid out. I am also excited about the Edna photo that you inserted." - SK

"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

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

"I have received The Sea Gull, and what a wonderful work it is! It is a very beautiful and important book and I enjoy it immensely." - IG

"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

Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed your book, and really feel
it was a worthy endeavor. With the strength of those rare photographs
supported by Linda's thorough and meticulous research I think it is a
unique contribution to fans of Chaplin and fans of silent films in
general. I'm not a silent film fan, but I can still see the merit of
the whole thing. I felt the writing was clean and crisp, and ran
logically from one idea to the next making it very readable. I also
feel that the publication of a book like yours will whet the appitite
of your genre of readers for more, allowing the bio of Edna a grand
reception. Also, to Wesley, the layout and design is beautiful.
- PR (writer)

"So many people who know anything about Charlie, let alone Edna, have been intrigued by the fate of The Sea Gull but there has never been anything we could do about it. Now (rather like a similar book that was done on Greed, another 'lost' film, though a truncated version survives), we have the next best thing - your book. I do congratulate you and your husband, as it is a beautifully produced book that will sit proudly on anyone's shelf." - PJ

"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

" wife got to it first and put it away for Christmas. Everyone hates to shop for me so anything I order in Nov or Dec gets put away for Christmas. My wife did check it out and said it's gorgeous. That comment comes from someone who has never watched a silent film and has no idea who Edna Purviance is. Maybe the book will get her interested enough to watch one of Edna's films." - BG

"The book arrived today, and it is absolutely fascinating. This is an important book-Leading Ladies should be very proud of themselves." - JW

"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

"Beautiful book. Thanks so much. I know how much hard work went into it. Most Chaplin students who read just Robinson and the CC Autobiography picture her as just pining away after becoming inactive at the studio. What you have discovered about her later life, adventures, and marriage are a revelation." - JJ

"Read the book on holiday last week - found it fascinating." - JS

"It is a beautiful book, thank you very much." - GD

"It looks great!" - DF

"I received the book today, very well packaged, and have just been through it. It is really wonderful to be able to see the photos, along with your reconstruction of the story. The book is very nicely designed overall, and your love of Edna shines through it all. Thanks very much for this contribution." - JB

"You did a magnificent job piecing the story together base on those amazing photos. I can't believe there isn't a copy of that film that was originally printed from the negative, before Chaplin burned it. I can't understand anyone, even Chaplin, burning a film without one copy preserved somewhere." - RS

"I’m really enjoying it!" - KH

"...looks REALLY nice." - EL

"I have been reading the seagull book, it is beautifully produced. The photos are wonderful. What a terrific loss! the movie, that is. I hope you are greatly appreciated for bringing it to the attention of our generation." - JMc

"Your book arrived! Thank you so much for all your effort which you have put in it. It's very much interesting to read and a little treasure with all those rare to find pictures. Also, I love very much the layout." - RM

"The layout of the book is absolutely superb, and your language throughout the book is a delight to read." - PH

"My wife was thrilled and I must say, the book is beautifully done. You can be very proud of this outstanding and long-overdue achievement!" - KB

"We can hardly wait for your next book. I started The Sea Gull and couldn't put it down. We both feel it is outstanding. It was like we were right there. Too bad the film was lost. We are so glad we have the book in our possession. What a marvel. Thanks again. I sure hope you are writing more." - NP

"...the book arrived this past weekend and I am enjoying it very much!"- HM

"...that cover sure does it for me, wow! Thanks again for all your dedication... It feels just like discovering a Chaplin short I've never seen before... It's that kind of feeling." - LS

"The book arrived yesterday. From what I've looked at so far, it is amazing! The cast photo from "In the Park" alone is worth the price! Congratulations on a remarkable achievement." - MV

"It is a beautiful book. The photos are so very nicely reproduced. ...a shame it can't be introduced to a wider market." - DT

"The book turned up all safe and just gorgeous... I spent the night pouring through it and taking in the beautiful images. You must be really satisfied with the way it turned out - the quality is divine." - GT

"...I made out the payment a few seconds ago. I met K. Guyonvarch in Paris... On this occasion I spotted your book in her office." - NA

"It looks very interesting... It is a treasure."
- LM

"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 this." - HM

From Lita:
After seeing a black and white laser copy of the book and text only copies, this was her comment after she saw the first fully printed book on October 20, 2007:


NOW, I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IF WE GET ANY REVIEWS TO PRINT!!!" - Lita Hill, October 20, 2007

(The couch Lita mentions is the same couch we sat at one afternoon talking about creating a coffee table style book for Edna.)

Special thanks for special posts and links about The Sea Gull:

Garen Ewing - UK Artist, Rainbow Orchid creator, Edna fan
Dave Kehr - New York Times
Leonard Maltin - Movie reviewer, author, Movie Crazy
Luke McKernan - The Bioscope
Thomas Gladysz - San Francisco Examiner
Bernd Kunze - Charlie Chaplin
Shana Dennis - Newcastle Silent Film Fun Factory - Australia
Marsha Collock - Flick Chick and A Person in the Dark
Christopher Snowden - Silent Film Blog
David Toll - Special Write-up and Links
Cecilia Cenciarelli - Chaplin Archives: Il Cinema Ritrovato Dossier
Phil Wickhman - SG in the Douglas Centre library, Exeter, England
Springfield Public Library - Available for interlibrary loan - Oregon
Harvard University Library - Cambridge, MA
Newcastle Library - Newcastle, Australia
Springfield Library - Springfield, Oregon
University of Nevada, Reno - Library Collection
Pershing County Library - Two copies - Reference
Storey County Public Library - Virginia City, Nevada
Bill Douglas - Film Library Collection - Exeter, England
Listed on WorldCat
Niles Silent Film Museum - Michael Bonham & Rena Dein
Dec. 2009 - Examiner "Best Recent Film Books"
Review from Beverly Hills Outlook
Also Honorable Mention for Best Author for Non-Fiction Book
Kirsten Hertz - SG was available in Lovelock at A Little Something

Special Notes:

The Sea Gull was part of a major presentation on Josef von Sternberg at Il Cinema Ritrovato, in Bologna, Italy - July 4, 2008. Leading Ladies had books at this event. more>

Some of the locations Sea Gull has traveled to: George Eastman House, Chaplin Archives, Association Chaplin, Japan's Chaplin Society Members, Bill Douglas Centre, Los Angeles Film archive, including the libraries of countless authors and fans.

List of countries we have sent books to: England, Wales, France, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Iceland and the United States.

Leading Ladies comment to anyone who thinks the book cost too much. more>

Charlie Chaplin wanted to forget this film, but at least Edna Purviance didn't, by keeping these images.

Now you have a chance to see a glimpse into this lost work.
- Linda Wada, Leading Ladies

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