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September 30 , 2008

The Opium Eater

A Life of Thomas De Quincey


“Scholarly, eloquent, persuasive and entertaining” The Economist

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Scholarly and entertaining...brings its extraordinary subject back to life. All amateurs of the marvellous age in which De Quincey lived will relish it. Michael Ratcliffe, The Times

The Opium Eater is the highly readable account of the life of Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859), a key Romantic author, a cult figure and the father of literary drug-culture. He was the intimate friend of Wordsworth, Coleridge and other English Romantic poets. A natural rebel and loner, De Quincey discovered opium as an Oxford student and became a lifelong addict.

De Quincey's 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater' - describing the astonishing dreams, sublime and horrific, to which opium gave rise - became a world-wide sensation, influencing Baudelaire, Poe, Cocteau and Burroughs amongst others. A leading author of his time, De Quincey was dogged by scandal and debt. His revelations about the private lives of the Romantic poets plunged him into controversy, and much of his work was written whilst dodging creditors on the seedy back streets of London and Edinburgh.

This newly-revised ebook edition of the classic biography describes a strange and adventurous life, full of colourful characters in a fascinating cultural era.

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