Author: Thomas De Quincey
Publisher: Broadview Press
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater remains its author’s most famous and frequently-read work and one of the period’s central statements about both the power and terror of imagination. De Quincey describes the intense “pleasures” and harrowing “pains” of his opium use in lyrical and dramatic prose. A notorious success since its 1821 publication, the work has been an important influence on philosophers, theorists, and psychologists, as well as literary writers, of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But Confessions is only one part of a larger confessional project conceived by De Quincey over the course of his writing career. Gathered together in this edition, these texts provide a fascinating glimpse of early nineteenth-century British aesthetic, medical, psychological, political, philosophical, social, racial, national, and imperialist attitudes. This edition includes the 1821 text of Confessions, its important sequel Suspiria de Profundis (1845), and its sequel, The English Mail-Coach (1849), as well as extensive appendices.
Author: Thomas De Quincey, Robert Morrison
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Suspiria de Profundis, and 'The English Mail-Coach' are De Quincey's finest essays in autobiography, published here with three appendices containing a wealth of related manuscript material and a comprehensive introduction and notes.
Author: Robert Morrison
Publisher: Open Road Media
A masterful biography of one of England’s most notorious literary figures Author of the scandalous Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas De Quincey (1785–1859) has long lacked a full-fledged biography. His friendships with leading poets and men of letters in the Romantic and Victorian periods—including William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge—have long placed him at the center of nineteenth century literary studies. His writing was a tremendous influence on Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and William Burroughs. De Quincey is a topical figure for other reasons, too: a self-mythologizing autobiographer whose attitudes to drug-induced creativity and addiction strike highly resonant chords for a contemporary readership. Robert Morrison’s biography passionately argues for the critical importance and enduring value of this neglected icon of English literature.
Author: Thomas De Quincey
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater is an account of the early life and opium addiction of Thomas De Quincey, in prose which is by turns witty, conversational, and nightmarish. 'On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth' offers both a small masterpiece of Shakespearian interpretation and a provocative statement of De Quincey's personal aesthetic of contrast and counterpoint. Suspiria de Profundis blends autobiography and philosophical speculation into a series of dazzling prose-poems which explore the mysteries of time, memory, and suffering. 'The English Mail-Coach' develops a richly apocalyptic vision which sets nineteenth-century England's political and imperial grandeur against the suffering and loss of innocence which it entails. This selection presents De Quincey's major works in their original uncut and unrevised versions, which in some cases have not been available for many years.
Author: Thomas De Quincey
Publisher: Sheba Blake Publishing
Thomas De Quincy's autobiographical tract Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821) is an account, you might have guessed, of the author's struggles and glories with opium. Though he was a brilliant and well educated young man, De Quincy - who had left school and was ashamed to ask for help - entered a period of near-homelessness in the dank London streets. This period of destitution resulted in chronic stomach pains, for which he began to take a tincture of opium, or Laudanum, to combat the pain. These Confessions are the result of a decades-long battle with addiction to the drug, divided into two parts: The Pleasures of Opium, and The Pains of Opium.
Author: Frances Wilson
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
National Book Critics Circle Award, Biographers International Organization Plutarch Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian Best Books of 2016 Thomas De Quincey was an obsessive. He was obsessed with Wordsworth and Coleridge, whose Lyrical Ballads provided the script to his life, and by the idea of sudden death. Running away from school to pursue the two poets, De Quincey insinuated himself into their world. Basing his sensibility on Wordsworth’s and his character on Coleridge’s, he forged a triangle of unusual psychological complexity. Aged twenty-four, De Quincey replaced Wordsworth as the tenant of Dove Cottage, the poet’s former residence in Grasmere. In this idyllic spot he followed the reports of the notorious Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811, when two families, including a baby, were butchered in their own homes. In his opium-soaked imagination the murderer became a poet while the poet became a murderer. Embedded in On Murder as One of the Fine Arts, De Quincey’s brilliant series of essays, Frances Wilson finds the startling story of his relationships with Wordsworth and Coleridge. Opium was the making of De Quincey, allowing him to dissolve self-conflict, eliminate self-recrimination, and divest himself of guilt. Opium also allowed him to write, and under the pseudonym “The Opium-Eater” De Quincey emerged as the strangest and most original journalist of his age. His influence has been considerable. Poe became his double; Dostoevsky went into exile with Confessions of an English Opium-Eater in his pocket; and Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, George Orwell, Alfred Hitchcock, and Vladimir Nabokov were all De Quincey devotees. There have been other biographies of Thomas De Quincey, but Guilty Thing is the first to be animated by the spirit of De Quincey himself. Following the growth of his obsessions from seed to full flowering and tracing the ways they intertwined, Frances Wilson finds the master key to De Quincey’s vast Piranesian mind. Unraveling a tale of hero worship and revenge, Guilty Thing brings the last of the Romantics roaring back to life and firmly establishes Wilson as one of our foremost contemporary biographers.