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‘I recommend Hamilton at every opportunity, because he was such a wonderful writer and yet is rather under-read today. All his novels are terrific’ Sarah Waters

‘If you were looking to fly from Dickens to Martin Amis with just one overnight stop, then Hamilton is your man’ Nick Hornby


Patrick Hamilton’s novels were the inspiration for Matthew Bourne’s new dance theatre production, The Midnight Bell.

Impromptu in Moribundia is a satirical fable about one (nameless) man’s trespass (through a fantastical machine called the ‘Asteradio’) into a parallel universe on a far-off planet where the ‘miserably dull affairs of England’ are mirrored and transformed into an apparent idyll of bourgeois English imagination.

Moribundia is the ‘physical enactment of the stereotypes and myths of English middle-class culture and consciousness.’ Yet the narrator comes to discover that he has stumbled among a people characterised by ‘cupidity, ignorance, complacence, meanness, ugliness, short-sightedness, cowardice, credulity, hysteria and, when the occasion called for it . . . cruelty and blood-thirstiness.