Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

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Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

Thomas de Quincy tells of his opium addiction, his nightmarish experiences, and the sufferings of withdrawal. [Br. Lit.: Haydn & Fuller, 155]
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The effects of laudanum were well described in Thomas De Quincey's classic work Confessions of an English Opium Eater.
THOMAS DE QUINCEY BEGINS HIS CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM Eater by identifying himself as an English writer with English Feelings.
Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater (London: Penguin, 1971) 29.
Writing of his drug addiction in 1821, the English essayist Thomas De Quincy -- author of the classic Confessions of an English Opium Eater -- noted that he had fallen into the vice during a wet Sunday afternoon in London `and there is no prospect more bleak than a wet Sunday afternoon in London'.
One example from De Quincey's revised Confessions of an English Opium Eater can quickly illustrate this shift from an interpersonal to a national context.
In the 1856 Confessions of an English Opium Eater, however, De Quincey worries that even a position of national authority cannot protect him from the personal cost of national identification.
Whereas some writers, such as Thomas Carlyle, launched their careers this way, but went on to produce a number of famous books, De Quincey continued to write for the journals until the end, and was always known as "the author of the Confessions of an English Opium Eater," the only book for which he was widely known.