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Confessions of an English Opium-eater

By Thomas De Quincey

$7.00

`Not the opium-eater, but the opium, is the true hero of the tale, and the legitimate centre on which the tale revolves.`

De Quincey (1785-1859) was a pioneer, psychologically and medically, in his analysis of his own progress as a consumer of enormous quantities of opium. At the time, opium was a legal painkiller with effects that were hardly recognised. But the `Confessions` is less about the dangers of addiction and more about the revelations of the subconscious mind in dreams and visions. De Quincey’s `processions of doom` were shaped by such diverse influences as his early poverty in the area of London’s Oxford Street, his friendship with a young prostitute, the loss of a child, the chance visit of a Malay sailor and even the prints of Piranesi.

De Quincey’s `Confessions` was a sensation when first published in 1821, and it has remained in print ever since. Remarkable for its pre-Freudian insights into the obscurer workings of the human mind, the `Confessions` has had a lasting impact on the writing of autobiography.

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