Confessions of a Thug is an English novelwritten by Philip Meadows Taylor in 1839based on the Thuggee cult in British India.It was a best-seller in 19th-century Britain, becoming the British Empire's most sensational ethnographic fiction in the first half of the 19th century; its avid readers included Queen Victoria. It was one of the best-selling crime novels of the 19th century, and was the most influential novel about Indiaprior to Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901).The novel's popularity established the word "thug" in the English language.
Publication date 1839
The plot revolves around a fictional anti-heroprotagonist, Ameer Ali. This book is a tale of crime and retribution in India, beginning in the late 18th century and ending in 1832. The story lays bare the practices of the Thugs, or "deceivers" as they were called, who murdered travellers for money and valuables. This work was originally published in 1839 and reprinted in 1873.
Ameer Ali: The novel's protagonist, a Pathan(Pashtun) Muslim adopted and raised by a thug. After becoming a prominent jemadar, he and his father relocate to Jhalone and gain the confidence of the local ruler, RajaGovindrao II.The Englishman: Ameer Ali's interlocutorand a stand-in for Phillip Meadows Taylor. His interviews of Ameer Ali provides a frame for the narrative of the novel. The Englishman describes the physical appearance of Ameer Ali in his imprisonment and will occasionally express moral outrage at some part of the tale, or otherwise offer criticism.Ismail: The adopted father of Ameer Ali. A respected and high-ranking Muslim thug, he is childless and adopts Ameer Ali. During the first half of the story, Ismail and his family live in a small village near Nagpur.Bhudrinath: A Hindu thug and early peer of Ameer Ali. He is an expert in the religious ceremonies of the Thuggee faction.Peer Khan: A Muslim thug and another close ally of Ameer Ali. He retires from thuggee to become a fakir.Ganesha: A prominent Hindu thug of Ismail's generation. He serves as Ameer Ali's antagonist in the second half of the story.Cheetoo: A prominent leader of pindariexpeditions. Ameer Ali and several thugs join him as mercenary soldiers.