Confessions of a Thug by Meadows Taylor

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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Post by GrownupDaria » June 14th, 2018, 4:13 pm


I'd like to suggest "Confessions of a thug" by Philip Meadows Taylor for, well, I guess, Kipling readers? :?
It's available on Gutenberg and says that it's PD:

As for why: I came across the name of this book in Morley's "The Haunted Bookshop" (I think), and the rest is from wikipedia:

"Confessions of a Thug is an English novel written by Philip Meadows Taylor in 1839 based 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 India prior to Rudyard Kipling's Kim (1901). The novel's popularity established the word "thug" in the English language."

"Thuggee or tuggee refers to the acts of Thugs, an organised gang of professional robbers and murderers. [...] Thugs travelled in groups across the Indian sub-continent for six hundred years. Although the Thugs traced their origin to seven Muslim tribes, Hindus appear to have been associated with them at an early period. The earliest authenticated mention of thugs appears in Ziyā-ud-Dīn Baranī's History of Fīrūz Shāh, dated around 1356. Thuggee was a secret cult whose members, both Muslims and Hindus, worshipped Mother Kali, the goddess of destruction."

Not the most reliable source probably since I stumbled upon a critical academic essay on how the British Government dealt with the Thugs, but it sounds interesting!
"When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time."

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Post by ColleenMc » November 10th, 2018, 10:16 am

I came to the Book Suggestions board to suggest this, as I saw that it hadn't been recorded yet, and found that someone has previously suggested it!

The book came to my attention due to the current release of "The Thugs of Hindustan" Bollywood movie (the movie's trailer makes it look like fun and I am hoping to get out to see it this weekend while it's at my local theater) -- it says that the movie is based on this novel so there might be increased interest in the novel.

I doubt the plot of the actual movie is anything like what I've read of the plot in the book, based on the trailer I've seen -- it looks more like they borrowed the title and some of the character names from Taylor, and based the movie a lot more on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies than Taylor's book...

Here's a review of the book from The SF Site, c. 2000:


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