'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 to renounce 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.
This edition presents De Quincey's finest essays in impassioned autobiography, together with three appendices that are highlighted by a wealth of manuscript material related to the three main texts.