The unsung hero of twentieth century fiction is honoured. The novelist and playwright Patrick Hamilton (1904-1962), has been commemorated with an English Heritage blue plaque in celebration of his life and contribution to literature. The plaque was installed at 2 Burlington Gardens, Chiswick, W4 on Saturday (12th February).
I understand the plaque’s installation is something of a personal triumph for Nick Robinson, Vintage Sales Manager, who campaigned for it over a good many years. So a big bravo for that effort.
As previously reported, Faber Finds has been hopeful for some time of returning certain rare Hamiltons to print, and I think that as of today I can safely report that Twopence Coloured and Impromptu in Moribundia will be reissued in Finds this coming July. If we could do it tomorrow we surely would… But this is certainly something for all of us to look forward to, and Hamilton fans should be reassured that Monday Morning will follow in Finds just as soon as is practically possible.
Patrick Hamilton is a ‘writer’s writer’ in many respects, and also one of whom we must say, in a bittersweet way, that both his life and work have to be considered with a nod to both the creative and the destructive powers of alcohol. As such I’d argue that the most finessing appreciations of Hamilton one can read are those written by fellow novelists, and ideally novelists who also have passed a certain number of hours “in the ambers”, as whisky-drinkers would say. So I heartily recommend to you this Guardian piece by Dan Rhodes, who says of Hamilton that “he wrote some of the best fiction, and far and away the best pub fiction, I’ve come across”…