Confessions of a Thug is an English novel written by Philip Meadows Taylor
Ameer Ali: The novel's protagonist, a Pathan (Pashtun) adopted and raised by a thug. After becoming a prominent jemadar, he and his father relocate to Jhalone and gain the confidence of the local ruler.
The Englishman: Ameer Ali's interlocutor and a stand-in for Phillip Meadows Taylor. His interviews of Ameer Ali provides a frame for the narrative of the novel. The Englishman describes the physical appearance of Ameer Ali in his imprisonment and will occasionally express moral outrage at some part of the tale, or otherwise offer criticism.
Ismail: The adopted father of Ameer Ali. A respected and high-ranking thug, he is childless and adopts Ameer Ali. During the first half of the story, Ismail and his family live in a small village near Nagpur.
Bhudrinath: A Hindu thug and early peer of Ameer Ali. He is an expert in the religious ceremonies of the thuggee cult.
Peer Khan: A Muslim thug and another close ally of Ameer Ali. He retires from thuggee to become a fakir.
Ganesha: A prominent thug of Ismail's generation. He serves as Ameer Ali's antagonist in the second half of the story.
Cheetoo: A prominent leader of pindari expeditions. Ameer Ali and several thugs join him as mercenary soldiers.
Ameer Ali, the fictional anti-hero protagonist of Confessions of a Thug, is a composite of multiple real-life thugs: Feringhea, Ameer Alee, and Aman Subahdar. Feringhea was a jamadar, or captain, and led many expeditions before turning into a prolific informer for the British. The historical Ameer Alee, who provided the fictional character's name, was a low-ranking thug mentioned only twice by Sleeman in his definitive work. Finally, Aman Subahdar was described by Sleeman as "the foremost thug of his day," but died before the events of the novel conclude. One scene in the novel, in which a thug band led by Ameer Ali suffers a misfortune, is lifted almost word-for-word from Sleeman's book. In the historical version, Aman Subahdar led the expedition. Further, Feringhea and Aman Subahdar were cousins but no such comparable character exists in the novel.