Gaslight is a thriller written by Patrick Hamilton and is set in Victorian England in about 1880.
The action takes place on the first floor of a four-storey upper middle-class house in Pimlico, a gloomy and unfashionable quarter of London. A husband is slowly manipulating his wife into believing she is going insane. A stranger (retired police inspector) arrives unexpectedly and we learn some sinister truths from the past.
Today, the term “gaslighting” has come to the fore and is now used to describe a manipulative tactic in which a person, to gain power and control, plants seeds of uncertainty in the victim. The self-doubt and constant skepticism slowly and meticulously cause the individual to question their reality. The title of this play has since provided a psychological name, “gaslighting”, for such abusive behaviour.