The English Opium-Eater
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The English Opium-Eater : A Biography of Thomas De Quincey

3.72 (47 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Definitive life of the author of CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM-EATER, journalist, political commentator and biographer.Thomas De Quincey's friendships with leading poets and men of letters in the Romantic and Victorian periods - including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Carlyle - have long placed him at the centre of 19th-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.De Quincey is a fascinating (and topical) figure for other reasons too: a self-mythologizing autobiographer whose attitudes to drug-induced creativity and addiction strike highly resonant chords for a contemporary readership. Robert Morrison's biography passionately argues for the critical importance and enduring value of this neglected essayist, critic and biographer.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 488 pages
  • 134 x 210 x 40mm | 498.95g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 0753827891
  • 9780753827895
  • 2,139,623

Review quote

This isn't a debunking biography, just a properly sceptical one, and it's clear that Morrison's enthusiasm for the man and his writings does not obscure his judgement. -- Suzi Feay * The Tablet 04.03.10 * a book which is full of insight and careful reasoning... Morrison does a superb job of literary detection going through a life of lies, procrastination and deceit, and teasing out whatever truth there is to be had. -- Jad Adams * The Guardian 09.01.10 * Morrison provides a compelling survey of De Quincey's work as a biographer, satirist, economist, political commentator, translator, linguist and classicist. -- Duncan Wu * The Independent 08.01.10 - Book of the Week * The time was ripe for a new biography and Morrison has done his man proud. This is an exceptionally well-balanced account. -- Jonathan Bate * Book of the Week - Sunday Telegraph - 13.12.09 * Robert Morrison's biography is impressive, the first biography of De Quincey in almost thirty years, and is the first to use all his published and unpublished works. -- Tom Paulin * The Literary Review Dec 09 * Morrison writes... with a combination of perspicacity and generous puzzlement... Thanks to Morrison... The life is clearer than it has ever been. -- James Purdon * The Observer 6.12.09 * I knew that I was on to a good thing with ths book before the page numbers were even out of roman numerals... This was a lively life, and this is a lively life... -- Sam Leith * The Spectator 5.12.09 * Robert Morrison's biography is astute and revealing, quarrying new sources. -- John Carey * Sunday Times 22.11.09 *show more

About Robert Morrison

Robert Morrison is recognised as a world-class scholar of Romantic and Victorian literature. He is the editor of the OUP edition of De Quincey's essays 'On Murder' and co-editor of a collection of new essays on De Quincey (Routledge).show more

Rating details

47 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 21% (10)
4 43% (20)
3 23% (11)
2 13% (6)
1 0% (0)
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