Confessions of an English Opium-eater

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Dover, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 70 pages
3 Reviews
Although he was an acute literary critic, a voluminous contributor to 'Blackwood's and other journals, and a perceptive writer on history, biography and economics, Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) is best known for his 'Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. First published in installments in the 'London Magazine' in 1821, the work recounts 'De Quincey's early years as a precocious student of Greek, his flight from grammar school and subsequent adventures among the outcasts and prostitutes of London, studies at Oxford University and his introduction to opium in 1804 (he hoped that drug would relieve a severe headache). It was the beginning of a long-term addiction to opium, whose effects on his mind are revealed in remarkably vivid descriptions of the dreams and visions he experienced while under its influence.

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User Review  - incandescentsmile - LibraryThing

I've just finished writing my undergraduate dissertation on De Quincey's 'Confessions', and - you know what? - the whole process damn near broke my head open. The more you think you understand about ... Read full review

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User Review  - Wubsy - LibraryThing

De Quincey's unusual tale about his opium exploits was a real surprise, and a delight to read. It was in turns funny, bleak and always maintained a laconic style that I found extremely pleasurable to read. If only all modern celebrity memoirs were written with this level of care and detail. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Thomas de Quincey, born in 1785, was an English novelist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known for his Confessions of an English Opium Eater, an insightful autobiographical account of his addiction to opium. The death of de Quincey's older sister when he was seven years old shaped his life through the grief and sadness that forced him to seek comfort in an inner world of imagination. He ran away to Wales when he was 17. He then attended Oxford University. It was at Oxford that he first encountered opium, and he subsequently abandoned his study of poetry without a degree, hoping to find a true philosophy. de Quincey wrote essays for journals in London and Edinburgh in order to support his large family. His prose writings and essays contain psychological insights relevant to the modern reader of today. In addition to his voluminous works of criticism and essays, he wrote a novel, Klosterheim or The Masque. Thomas de Quincey died in 1859.

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