Patrick Hamilton (writer)

Patrick Hamilton (Writer)

Patrick Hamilton (writer)

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Patrick Hamilton (17 March 1904 - 23 September 1962) 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 recently 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 disadvantaged, as well as an acerbic black humour. Doris Lessing wrote in The Times in 1968: "Hamilton was a marvellous novelist who's grossly neglected".

Life and works

He was born Anthony Walter Patrick Hamilton in the Sussex village of Hassocks, near Brighton, to writer parents. Due to his father's alcoholism and financial ineptitude, the family spent much of Hamilton's childhood living in boarding houses in Chiswick and Hove. His education was patchy, and ended just after his fifteenth birthday when his mother withdrew him from Westminster School.

After a brief career as an actor, he became a novelist in his early twenties with the publication of Monday Morning (1925), written when he was nineteen. Craven House (1926) and Twopence Coloured (1928) followed, but his first real success was the play Rope (1929, known as Rope's End in America).

The Midnight Bell (1929) is based upon Hamilton's falling in love with a prostitute and was later published along with The Siege of Pleasure (1932) and The Plains of Cement (1934) as the semi-autobiographical trilogy Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky...
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