Thomas De Quincey spent much of his life addicted to the powerful drug opium. This book, first published anonymously in the London Magazine, is the autobiographical account of his addiction. De Quincey’s compelling language and frankness give the reader a window in to both the strange pleasures and the horrible pains of that famous drug.
As the science of addiction was an unheard of thing at the time, De Quincey’s account became a sort of authoritative reference for decades, with people going so far as to denounce the book or presenting too pleasurable a picture of opium use. His work stands as a fascinating window into the life of a Georgian-era addict in one of the busiest cities in the world.