Thomas W. Hanshew

Last updated
Thomas W. Hanshew
Died1914 [1]
Other namesCharlotte May Kingsley
Occupation(s) Stage actor

Thomas W. Hanshew (1857 1914) was an American writer and male actor. He was born in Brooklyn, New York (state).


Life and career

Hanshew began a career as an actor when only 16 years old, playing minor parts with Ellen Terry's company. Subsequently he played important roles with Clara Morris and Adelaide Neilson. Later he was associated with a publishing house in London, where he resided at the end of his life. He used, among others, the pen name "Charlotte May Kingsley," and wrote more than 150 novels, some of which were co-authored with his wife, Mary E. Hanshew.

Hanshew's best-known character was the consulting detective "Hamilton Cleek" (the assumed name of the King of Maurevania), [2] , a reformed thief now working for law enforcement. Cleek is known as "the man of the forty faces" for his incredible skill at disguise. The main character of dozens of short stories that began to be published during 1910 and were subsequently collected in a series of books, Cleek is based in Clarges Street, London, where he is consulted continually by Inspector Narkom of Scotland Yard.


(this list is incomplete)

Edison’s The Chronicles of Cleek series

Ben F. Wilson appeared as Detective Hamilton Cleek in a series of silent film shorts: [4]


Even by the standards of the adventure fiction of the era, Hamilton Cleek is a notably unrealistic character, not only for his ability to impersonate anyone (including speaking multiple foreign languages perfectly) but for his physical derring-do and his frequent melodramatic encounters with Margot, "Queen of the Apaches", and her partner-in-crime Merode.[ citation needed ]

Further reading

See also

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  1. The Edison Kinetogram. Thomas A. Edison, Incorporated. 1914. ...were shocked at learning of the sudden death of Thomas W. Hanshew , the distinguished author of the...
  2. Nevins, Jess (2005). "Cleek (in Cabot to Cunliffe)". Pulp and Adventure Heroes of the Pre-War Years. Retrieved 4 November 2021. Cleek, Hamilton. The "Man of Forty Faces," one of the more memorable of the early heroic amorals, what Robert Sampson calls the "bent heroes."
  3. Smith, Kevin Burton (2 March 2020). "Hamilton Cleek (The Man of the Forty Faces)". Thrilling Detective.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Thomas W. Hanshew". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.

Thomas W. Hanshew
Mary E. Hanshew
Thomas and Mary Hanshew