These decadent cultural images are familiar, but what is the story behind them? * Coleridge and de Quincey swilling bitter draughts of laudanum * Sigmund Freud and Sherlock Holmes dallying with cocaine * Baudelaire and Gautier rapt in velvet hashish fantasies * Queen Victoria swallowing her prescription dose of cannabis How did cannabis and cocaine, opium and ether, mushrooms and mescaline enter the worlds of nineteenth century Britain, Europe and America, and what was their impact on that century'sdreams and nightmares?
About the Author
Mike Jay is the author of Blue Tide: The Search for Soma (1999), an investigation into the use of sacred plant drugs in Indo-European prehistory. He is also the editor of Artificial Paradises (1999), an illustrated anthology of drug literature, and the co-editor of 1900 (1999), a collection of fin-de-siÃ¨cle writings on evolution, decadence, atheism, the unconscious, feminism, sexology and futurism. He has written on the social history of drugs for various publications including The Guardian, The Independent, Arena, Fortean Times and the International Journal of Drug Policy.