I have often been asked how I first came to be a regular opium-eater -
I sometimes seemed to have lived for 70 or 100 years in one night nay, sometimes had feelings representative of a millennium passed in that time, or - of a duration far beyond the limits of any human experience.
In an examination of his laudanum addiction, Thomas De Quincey lays bare the celestial pleasures and infernal lows of a life spent in dependence on subtle and mighty opium . At once moving and rhapsodic, and suffused with a poetic and lyrical beauty, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater hauntingly evokes frightful visions and phantasmagorical night-time wanderings, while reality, dream and memory blur and intertwine in a nebulous and protean haze.
This edition also includes the classic Suspiria de Profundis ' and The English Mail-Coach ', both continuing De Quincey 's exploration of the drug and its relationship with dreams and the events of childhood, and inspiring Virginia Woolf to declare that De Quincey 's writing has the effect of rings of sound which break into each other and widen out and out till the brain can hardly expand far enough to realize the last remote vibrations .