The English Opium Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey
A masterful biography of one of England’s most notorious literary figures
Author of the scandalous Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas De Quincey (1785–1859) has long lacked a full-fledged biography. His friendships with leading poets and men of letters in the Romantic and Victorian periods—including William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge—have long placed him at the center of nineteenth century literary studies. His writing was a tremendous influence on Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and William Burroughs. De Quincey is a topical figure for other reasons, too: a self-mythologizing autobiographer whose attitudes to drug-induced creativity and addiction strike highly resonant chords for a contemporary readership. Robert Morrison’s biography passionately argues for the critical importance and enduring value of this neglected icon of English literature.
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addiction Ambleside beautiful began Blackwood Blackwood’s Magazine boys Carlyle Coleridge Coleridge’s Confessions Cottage daughter death Dorothy Dorothy Wordsworth Dove Cottage dreams drug Eaton Edinburgh Emily English essays Everton father Florence Fox Ghyll Grasmere Greenhay Hessey Hogg intellectual James Hogg Japp John Jordan Lady Carbery Lakes Lamb Lasswade later laudanum letter Library Lindop literary lived lodgings London Lord Lyrical Ballads Magazine mail-coach Manchester Manchester Grammar School manuscript Margaret Mary Mavis Bush months morning Morrison mother murder never night o’clock occasion opium Opium-Eater Oxford perhaps pleasure poet political published Quincey wrote Quincey’s remarkable returned Robert Samuel Taylor Coleridge seems sister soon Southey stay Symonds Tait Tait’s Taylor TDQ’s Thomas De Quincey Thomas’s thought told took travelled University Press walked weeks Westhay Westmorland Westport William Wilson Wordsworth 1969 writing young