"Hamilton was a marvellous novelist who's grossly neglected" -- Doris Lessing The Times "Patrick Hamilton wrote about pubs better than any other novelist... The wonderful 1935 trilogy, Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, is set in a pub off the Euston Road. Every detail is spot on" Independent on Sunday "A complex study of failed hopes and disappointed love" Independent on Sunday "Patrick Hamilton was a writer's writer... Seen as touchstones by authors from J.B. Priestley to Iain Sinclair" The Times "Hamilton writes about street life with an honesty and lyricism, an absence of sentimentality or fetish for squalor, that should make nearly every hard-boiled writer hang his or her head in shame" -- Charles Taylor Salon
Born in Hassocks, Sussex in 1904, Patrick Hamilton was the youngest of three children. His parents, Ellen and Bernard Hamilton were published authors -- Bernard had written historical books, Ellen two romantic novels. Hamilton was educated at Holland House School in Hove, Sussex, Colet Court in London, and Westminster School (1918-19). At the age of seventeen he began to work as an actor and assistant stage manager for Andrew Melville. He then changed his career and worked as a stenographer. He published his first novel Craven House in 1926 and within a few years established a wide readership for himself. His first theatrical success was Rope (1929) on which Alfred Hitchcock's film of the same name was based. Many novels followed, including Hangover Square, his trilogy of novels Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky and Slaves of Solitude, as well as radio dramas and plays, several of which were filmed, including Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. A celebrated 'bright young' novelist of the Twenties and Thirties, Hamilton was in tune with the times. Sadly, at the peak of his career in 1932, he was accidentally run over by a car, sustaining multiple fractures and requiring plastic surgery. The accident left him permanently disfigured and perhaps contributed to his later slide into alcoholism. Hamilton was married twice -- to Lois Martin in 1930 and then to Ursula Stewart in 1953. He died on 23 September, 1962.