Confessions of an English Opium Eater

Confessions of an English Opium Eater

by Thomas De Quincey
3.3 10

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Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas De Quincey

Although he was an acute literary critic, a voluminous contributor to Blackwood's and other journals, and a perceptive writer on history, biography, and economics, Thomas de Quincey (1785–1859) is best known for his Confessions of an English Opium Eater.
First published in installments in the London Magazine in 1821, the work recounts De Quincey's early years as a precocious student of Greek, his flight from grammar school and subsequent adventures among the outcasts and prostitutes of London, studies at Oxford University and his introduction to opium in 1804 (he hoped that taking the drug would relieve a severe headache). It was the beginning of a long-term addiction to opium, whose effects on his mind are revealed in remarkably vivid descriptions of the dreams and visions he experienced while under its influence.
Describing the general style of the Confessions, an English critic of the period wrote in the London Monthly Review: "They have an air of reality and life; and they exhibit such strong graphic powers as to throw an interest and even a dignity round a subject which in less able hands might have been rendered a tissue of trifles and absurdities."
In later years, De Quincey revised and expanded the first edition of the Confessions into a much longer, more verbose work which lacked the readable intensity of the original. The present edition reprints the first version, generally considered more impressive, and admired for its introspective penetration and journalistic astuteness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486112015
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 05/31/2012
Series: Dover Thrift Editions
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 80
File size: 436 KB

About the Author

Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) studied at Oxford, failing to take his degree but discovering opium. He later met Coleridge, Southey and the Wordsworths. From 1828 until his death he lived in Edinburgh and made his living from journalism. Barry Milligan is Professor of English at Wright State University and author of Pleasures and Pains (Virginia UP, 1995).

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Confessions of an English Opium Eater 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Confessions of an English Opium-eater!It's one of the best books I've ever read, the way De Quincy depicts his life, along with others just takes you to where he is,what he's experiencing,feeling, everything! I think everyone who's ever considered doing drugs should read this then make their decision.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was very interesting and entertaining. One of my favorite books.
LadyBadness More than 1 year ago
I read Murder as a Fine Art by Thomas De Qunicey last year and found it so interesting that I had to know more about the author! What better way to learn about him than to read his "Confessions?" The book covers the pros and cons of opium use, which was a fairly common practice in De Quincey's time. He describes the nightmares he suffered as a result of the opium addiction in vivid detail, making the reader understand why De Quincey did not advocate opium use, even though he was an avid user. De Quincey's account is so real and compelling that the reader can feel the lure of opium and the devastation of its continued use. This is a quick read, but provides unusual insight to the author's mind, as well as the time period.
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loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Joe is caca and poop 4 stars!!!!