"I took it: - and in an hour, oh! Heavens! what a revulsion! what an upheaving, from its lowest depths, of the inner spirit! what an apocalypse of the world within me!"
This edition presents De Quincey's three finest essays in impassioned autobiography, edited by leading De Quincey scholar and biographer Robert Morrison.
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater launched a fascination with drug use that has continued to our day. Here De Quincey invents recreational drug taking, but he also details both the lurid nightmares that beset him in the depths of his addiction as well as his humiliatingly futile attempts to renounce the drug. Suspiria de Profundis centers on the profound afflictions of De Quincey's childhood, and examines the powerful and often paradoxical relationship between drugs and human creativity. In The English Mail-Coach, the tragedies of De Quincey's past are played out with horrifying repetitiveness against a backdrop of Britain as a Protestant and an imperial power.
Robert Morrison's Introduction considers opium use in the nineteenth century, the confession genre, and the three works in detail, focusing on De Quincey's centrality to his own age and enduring relevance to our own. Morrison also provides detailed and comprehensive annotation, an extensive chronology of De Quincey's life, and the most up-to-date and thorough bibliography on the autobiographical works. Finally, the book features three appendices containing manuscript material related to the three texts, never before available in paperback.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
About the Author
Robert Morrison is the author of a critically acclaimed biography of De Quincey, The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2009). He has edited volumes of De Quincey's complete Works for Pickering and Chatto, and he is the editor of On Murder, a collection of De Quincey's essays 'On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts' and other writings for OWC. He has also co-edited with Chris Baldick Polidori's The Vampyre and Other Tales of the Macabre for OWC.
Table of Contents
Note on the Text
A Chronology of Thomas De Quincey
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
Suspiria de Profundis
The English Mail-Coach
Appendix A. Manuscript and Other Material relating to Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
Appendix B. Manuscript Material relating to Suspiria de Profundis
Appendix C: Manuscript and Other Material relating to 'The English Mail-Coach'
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.