Thomas De Quincey

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De Quincey, Thomas

(də kwĭn`sē), 1785–1859, English essayist. In 1802 he ran away from school and tramped about the country, eventually settling in London. His family soon found him and entered him (1803) in Worcester College, Oxford, where he developed a deep interest in German literature and philosophy. He left Oxford in 1808 without completing his degree and settled (1809) at Grasmere, where he made the acquaintance of Wordsworth. By 1817 the opium habit, which he had begun while at Oxford, had reached its height. He achieved literary eminence with the publication of his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1822), which first appeared in the London Magazine in 1821. It is an account of the progress of his drug habit, including descriptions of the bizarre and spectacular dreams he had while under the influence of opium. He became a prolific contributor to various journals, especially to Blackwood's, Edinburgh, after 1825. Among his best works—all written in a polished, highly imaginative, and discursive prose—are "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts," "Suspiria de Profundis," "On the English Mail-Coach," "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth," and Autobiographic Sketches (1853).


See his letters (ed. by W. H. Bonner, 1936); his diary for 1803 (ed. by H. A. Eaton, 1927); biographies by E. Sackville-West (1936), H. A. Eaton (1936, repr. 1972), G. Lindop (1981), and F. Wilson (2016); studies by J. E. Jordan (1952, repr. 1973), A. Goldman (1965), V. A. DeLuca (1980), and R. L. Snyder, ed. (1986).

De Quincey, Thomas


Born Aug. 15, 1785, in Manchester; died Dec. 8, 1859, in Edinburgh. British author.

In his autobiographical work Confessions of an English Opium-eater (1822; Russian translation, 1834), De Quincey combined the story of his life of poverty with descriptions of his visions under the influence of narcotics. He published a newspaper which had a conservative orientation. In his literary affinities he was close to the poets of the lake school. He wrote works on Shakespeare, Milton, Shelley, and Keats and contributed to the development of decadent literature.


The Collected Writings, vols. 1–14. Edited by D. Masson. London, 1896–97.


Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 2, issue 1. Moscow, 1953.
Proctor, S. K. Thomas De Quincey’s Theory of Literature. New York, 1966. (Bibliography, pp. 299–306.)
Green, J. A. Thomas De Quincey: A Bibliography. New York [1968].
References in periodicals archive ?
See De Quincey's Disciplines 131, and Lindop, The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas De Quincey (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1985) 327.
The Collected Writings of Thomas De Quincey (London: A & C Black, 1897) 2.
Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859) consumia opio en forma de laudano: granos de la droga diluidos en alcohol (tintura de opio).
Thomas De Quincey, fascinated with Ricardo's works on political economy, once planned to develop a more ambitious theory entitled as "Prolegomena to All Future Systems of Political Economy" (Lindop 234).
In his diary, the teenaged Thomas De Quincey once speculated about his persona.
The Opium Question with China in 1840" The Collected Writings of Thomas De Quincey, vol.
One of the most notable examples comes from essayist Thomas De Quincey, author of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and a key figure in the development of recreational drug taking in Europe and the United States.
She explores comments that writers, politicians and philosophers such as Edmund Burke, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Adam Smith, David Hume, Dugald Stewart and John Thelwall make about crowd behaviour and sympathy but the book also substantially deals with radical print culture and writers such as William Cobbett, William Hone, Thomas de Quincey and William Hazlitt.
In 1811, however, Lloyd checked into a private asylum, only to escape several years later, and turn up at the house of Thomas de Quincey, claiming to be the devil.
This essay argues that Thomas De Quincey defines 'authentic' opium habituation as the effective management of one's own personal slavery, and he uses Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a straw man to illustrate the perils of unmanaged, 'illegitimate' opium use.
Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859) fue periodista, critico y escritor romantico.