ISBN : 9780198854647
'I fear that I have often wearied you by the minute relation of my history; but I have told all, nor concealed from you one thought, one feeling, much less any act which at this distance of time I can remember. Possibly you may have recorded what may prove fearfully interesting to your friends. If it be so, your end is answered; you have given a faithful portrait of a Thug's life, his ceremonies, and his acts; whist I am proud that the world will know of the deeds and adventures of Ameer Ali, the Thug.'
Often overshadowed by Kipling's Kim or Forster's A Passage to India, Philip Meadows Taylor's forgotten classic, Confessions of a Thug (1839), is nevertheless the most influential novel of early nineteenth-century British India.
This was the first dramatic account to expose a European readership to the fantastic world of the murderous Thugs, or highway robbers, who strangled their victims and who have ever since been a stable of Western popular culture. Writing in the voice of a captured Thug, Taylor presents an Orientalist fantasy that is part picaresque adventure and part colonial exposé. Confessions of a Thug offers a unique glimpse of the colonial world in the making, revealing how the British imagined themselves to be omniscient and in complete control of their Indian subjects. This unique critical edition makes available a fascinating and significant work of Empire writing, in addition to excerpts from the original colonial texts that inspired Taylor's narrative.
Note on the Text
A Chronology of Philip Meadows Taylor
THE CONFESSIONS OF A THUG