"My head expanded wider and wider, revolving with inconceivable rapidity, and enlarging in space with every revolution. It filled the room - the house - the city; it became a world, peopled with the shapes of men and monsters. I spun away into its great vortex, and wandered about its expanses as about a universe. I lost all perception of time and space, and knew no distinction between the realities around me, and the phantasmata which sprung in endless succession from my brain."
- The Hasheesh Eater.
First published in 1857, American author Fitz Hugh Ludlow's The Hasheesh Eater is one of the first examples of addiction literature. The book recounts Ludlow's initial fascination and subsequent addiction to hasheesh, and includes many detailed descriptions of the hallucinations he experienced while under the influence of the drug, a version of cannabis which he ingested in pill form.
There was a minor scandal when the book was published but it quickly became a Victorian bestseller. Ironically, the popularity of The Hasheesh Eater led to interest in the drug it described. Not long after its publication, the Gunjah Wallah Co. in New York began advertising "Hasheesh Candy."
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