Thomas De Quincey (1785 – 1859)


The Homepage of Thomas De Quincey is devoted to the study of the life and writings of the nineteenth-century English essayist and opium addict Thomas De Quincey. In addition to a biography, a chronology, and a series of links to other relevant material, the site contains an extensive bibliography that lists more than 200 titles by and about De Quincey.



2013 Oxford World's Classics Edition:

Confessions of an English Opium Eater and Other Writings

Edited by Robert Morrison

'I took it:—and in an hour, oh! Heavens! what a revulsion! what an upheaving, from its lowest depths,
of the inner spirit! what an apocalypse of the world within me!'


"Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821) launched a fascination with drug use and abuse that has continued from his day to ours. In the Confessions De Quincey invents recreational drug taking, but he also details both the lurid nightmares that beset him in the depths of his addiction as well as his humiliatingly futile attempts torenounce the drug. Suspiria de Profundis centres on the deep afflictions of De Quincey's childhood, and examines the powerful and often paradoxical relationship between drugs and human creativity. In 'The English Mail-Coach', the tragedies of De Quincey's past are played out with horrifying repetitiveness against a backdrop of Britain as a Protestant and an imperial power."

Robert Morrison's biography of De Quincey, dust jacket

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The English Opium-Eater:

A Biography of Thomas De Quincey

By Robert Morrison

Author of the famous and semi-scandalous Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, Thomas De Quincey has long lacked a fully fledged biography. His friendships with leading poets and men of letters in the Romantic and Victorian periods have long placed him at the centre of nineteenth-century literary studies. De Quincey also stands at the meeting point in the culture wars between Edinburgh and London; between high art and popular taste; and between the devotees of the Romantic imagination and those of hack journalism. His writing was a tremendous influence on Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, William Burroughs, and Peter Ackroyd.

Click here to read the Telegraph review of The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey.

 

Robert Morrison's biography of De Quincey, dust jacket

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Or click here to order at Amazon.co.uk

Or click here to order at Amazon.ca



2006 Oxford World's Classics Edition:

On Murder

Edited by Robert Morrison

'For if once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think of robbing; and from robbing he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination'


"Thomas De Quincey's three essays 'On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts' centre on the notorious career of the murderer John Williams, who in 1811 brutally killed seven people in London's East End. De Quincey's response to Williams's attacks turns morality on its head, celebrating and coolly dissecting the art of murder and its perfections. Ranging from the gruesomely vivid reportage and brilliantly funny satiric high jinks to penetrating literary and aesthetic criticism, the essays had a remarkable impact on crime, terror, and detective fiction, as well as on the rise of nineteenth-century decadence."

 

Robert Morrison's biography of De Quincey, dust jacket

Click image to order this book at Amazon.com

Or click here to order at Amazon.co.uk

Or click here to order at Amazon.ca

 


Click below to read more about Thomas De Quincey

Click below for Robert Morrison's interview with David Morrell


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with the technical assistance of Scott-Morgan Straker and Matthew Roby.