Cosmo Hamilton

Cosmo Hamilton (29 April 1870 – 14 October 1942), born Henry Charles[1] Hamilton Gibbs, was an English playwright and novelist. He was the brother of writers Arthur Hamilton Gibbs, Francis William Hamilton Gibbs, Helen Katherine Hamilton Gibbs and Sir Philip Gibbs.

Cosmo Hamilton in 1917


Hamilton was born in Norwood. He took his mother's maiden name when he began to write. Hamilton was married twice: first to Beryl Faber, née Crossley Smith, who died in 1912. (She was the sister of actor C. Aubrey Smith.) Hamilton then married Julia Bolton, the former wife of playwright Guy Bolton.[citation needed]

His London musicals include The Catch of the Season (1904), The Belle of Mayfair (1906), The Beauty of Bath (1906). During the First World War Hamilton was a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Air Service. He later wrote a number of Broadway shows and many screenplays, and his novels were the basis for several films.[2]

In her April 1922 theater column, Dorothy Parker's review of Hamilton's Broadway play Danger remarked on the salacious content of Hamilton's plays: "There can longer be any doubt that it was from Cosmo Hamilton that the cosmic urge derived its name. Not even his own press agent could claim for Mr. Hamilton that it was he who conceived the notion of sex, but certainly he has given most of his life to capitalizing the idea. It has often been observed that if there were no such thing as sex, everything would be a lot better off. But then we must remember before we agree with the statement that were there no such thing, Mr. Hamilton would have nothing to write about."[3]

Hamilton died, aged 72, in Guildford, England.[4]


The film Who Cares? (1919) was advertised as being based upon Hamilton's novel

Hamilton wrote dozens of novels, averaging a novel per year most of his adult life. His novels include:

  • Plain Brown (1909)
  • A Plea for the Younger Generation (1913)
  • The Door that Has No Key (1913)
  • The Miracle of Love (1914)
  • The Sins of the Children (1916)
  • Two Kings and Other Romances (1917)
  • Who Cares? A Story of Adolescence (1919) ISBN 978-1-4069-2525-8
  • The Rustle of Silk (1922)
  • Paradise (read on radio 1925)[5]
  • His Majesty, the King: A Romantic Love Chase of the Seventeenth Century (1926) ISBN 978-0-548-02418-8 (historical novel about Charles II).[6]

Hamilton's Broadway productions include:

  • The Proud Laird (1905)
  • The Catch of the Season (1905)
  • The Belle of Mayfair (1906-1907)
  • The Hoyden (1907-1908)
  • The Master Key (1909)
  • The Blindness of Virtue (1912)
  • Flora Bella (1916)
  • The Star Gazer (1917)
  • Scandal (1919-1920)
  • An Exchange of Wives (1919)
  • The Silver Fox (1921)
  • Danger (1921-1922)
  • The New Poor (1924)
  • Parasites (1924-1925)
  • Pickwick (1927)
  • Caste (1927)



  1. ^ GRO online index of births
  2. ^ Cosmo Hamilton at IMDb
  3. ^ Parker, Dorothy (2014). Complete Broadway, 1918-1923. iUniverse. ISBN 978-1491722657.
  4. ^ Who's who in the Theatre. Pitman. 1947. p. 1877.
  5. ^ Peter Dixon Radio Writing 1931- Page 10 "In December, 1925, Cosmo Hamilton, British novelist, broadcast a fifteen-minute version of his novel "Paradise." By that time there were other story-tellers and speakers on the air, reading their remarks from manuscript. ".
  6. ^ Daniel D. McGarry, Sarah Harriman White, Historical Fiction Guide: Annotated Chronological, Geographical, and Topical List of Five Thousand Selected Historical Novels. Scarecrow Press, 1963 (p.166)

Other sourcesEdit

  • Twentieth Century Authors: A Biographical Dictionary of Modern Literature, edited by Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft, New York, The H. W. Wilson Company, 1942.

External linksEdit