A daily note on some event in the history of mystery fiction.
Friday, March 17, 2017
3/17/1904 Patrick Hamilton is born
March 17, 1904. Happy St Patrick's Day. This holiday no doubt had something to do with the first name of today's subject. Patrick Hamilton was born near Brighton, England on this date. Doris Lessing called him "a marvelous novelist who's grossly neglected," but we are mostly interested in two plays he wrote; Gaslight and Rope..Yes, that is where the idea of gaslighting someone (to make them think they are going crazy) came from. And Rope was made into a very creepy movie by Alfred Hitchcock, remembered today mostly because Jimmy Stewart played a somewhat sinister philosophy professor who inspires the bad guys to murder, and because Hitchcock filmed it as if it were one long camera shot. (Many years later Birdman used the same stunt.)