Patrick Hamilton

Anthony Walter Patrick Hamilton (17 March 1904 – 23 September 1962)[1] was an English playwright and novelist. He was well regarded by Graham Greene and J. B. Priestley, and study of his novels has been revived because of their distinctive style, deploying a Dickensian narrative voice to convey aspects of inter-war London street culture. They display a strong sympathy for the poor, as well as an acerbic black humour. Doris Lessing wrote in The Times in 1968: “Hamilton was a marvelous novelist who’s grossly neglected”.

His two most successful plays, Rope, and Gas Light, were made into famous films: Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948) and the British-made Gaslight (1940), followed by the 1944 American version. The term “gaslighting“, for a form of psychological abuse, comes from his play.

Books in order of publication:


Stage plays

  • Rope (1929)
  • The Procurator of Judea (1930; unpublished)
  • John Brown’s Body (1931; unpublished)
  • Gas Light (1938), also known as Angel Street
  • The Duke in Darkness (1943)
  • The Governess (1946; unpublished)
  • Caller Anonymous (1952; unpublished)
  • The Man Upstairs (1953)
  • Miss Roach (1958; unpublished)
  • Hangover Square (1965; unpublished)
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