De Quincey

Overview

Combining intellectual enthusiasm with analytical bite, David Masson's biography of the self-confessed opium eater provides readers with valuable insights into an author whose life oscillated between respectability, vagrancy and infamy. Published in the first series of English Men of Letters in 1881, only two decades after the death of Thomas de Quincey (1785?1859), and written by a man who, like his subject in his more prosperous years, was a journalist and editor in the heart of literary London, Masson's ...
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De Quincey

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Overview

Combining intellectual enthusiasm with analytical bite, David Masson's biography of the self-confessed opium eater provides readers with valuable insights into an author whose life oscillated between respectability, vagrancy and infamy. Published in the first series of English Men of Letters in 1881, only two decades after the death of Thomas de Quincey (1785–1859), and written by a man who, like his subject in his more prosperous years, was a journalist and editor in the heart of literary London, Masson's account describes a man and a nation at the peak of their cultural influence. Covering not only the Confessions, but also his less well known essays in the London Magazine, Blackwood's, the Edinburgh Saturday Post and the Instructor, this literary portrait places the life – debts and drug use, but also fame, success and the friendship of some of the greatest writers of the age – in the context of the works.
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Table of Contents

Prefatory note; 1. Parentage, infancy, and childhood; 2. Boyhood and changes of school, with a tour in Ireland; 3. Vagrancy in North Wales and in London; 4. Mainly at Oxford, with visits to London and the Lakes; 5. Bachelor life at the Lakes; 6. Married life at the Lakes: prostration under opium; provincial editorship; 7. Partly in London, partly at the Lakes, partly in Edinburgh: the Confessions and other articles in the London Magazine, and first articles in 'Blackwood'; 8. Wholly in Edinburgh: more contributions to Blackwood, with articles in Tait's Magazine; 9. Lasswade and Edinburgh, with visits to Glasgow: more contributions to Blackwood and Tait; 10. Lasswade, and No. 42 Lothian Street, Edinburgh: the Collected Works, last days of De Quincey; 11. De Quincey's writings: general characteristics; 12. De Quincey's writings: classification and review.
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