Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
by Thomas de Quincey
Editor: Dover Publications Inc.
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Although he was a serious literary critic, a voluminous contributor to Blackwood and other journals, and a perception of the writer on history, biography and economics, Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859) is best known for his Confessions of an English Opium EaterFirst published in several installments in the London Magazine, in 1821, the book relates De Quincey’s early years as an early student of the Greek language, his grammar school robbery and subsequent adventures among the outcasts of London society and prostitutes, studies at Oxford University and his presentation to the opium in 1804 (he hoped that taking the drug could relieve her a severe headache)This was the beginning of a long term addiction to opium, the effects of which on his mind are revealed remarkably vivid descriptions of dreams and visions, he then knew under his influenceDescribing the general style of confession, an English critic of the period wrote in the London Monthly Review “They look like reality and life; and they present these strong graphic powers throwing interest and even dignity around a subject in less than capable hands might have been made a web of trifles and absurdities”.”Years later, De Quincey, revised and expanded, the first edition of Confessions into a much longer, more detailed work which lacked the legible intensity of the originalThis edition of the reprints of the first version, generally considered the most impressive, and admired for its introspective journalist penetration and finesse
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