The Classic of Opium Addiction
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.
London: Taylor and Hessey, 1822.
First edition. Half-title present and without the final leaf of ads. vi, 206 pp. printed by J. Moyes, Greville Street. 12mo. The Classic of Opium Addiction. Contemporary mottled calf, rebacked. Handsome copy Green 354; Horowitz, Phantastica 57; Tinker 817; "The most famous account of drug-addiction in English Literature..." (Norman, 619). Item #309504
First edition of the first part of De Quincey's classic, the author’s first book, the complete text of which did not appear until Boston, 1850. “Thomas De Quincey began using opium in 1802 and continued to use it on and off, passing through no less than four opium crises, during the course of his life…From the very first the impact of the Confessions has been virtually incalculable. A genre of literature was at once established that stands to this day: the drug confession. Every writer of drug literature has paid his respects to De Quincey; and of course two of France’s greatest poets Musset and Baudelaire, translated Confessions. Its literary quality has also caused De Quincey’s first work to be placed in the top rank of English literature; its scientific precision has brought it to the attention of physicians and medical historians. The Confessions is among the classic works of English Romanticism, and yet it was decades before its author would dare put his name upon the title-page.” — Horowitz.
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