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Confessions of an English Opium Eater Paperback – April 29, 2003
"Hitler's Forgotten Children" by Ingrid von Oelhafen
The Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution. Hitler's Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program. Learn more | See related books
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About the Author
Barry Milligan is a professor of English at Wright State University and author of Pleasures and Pains (Virginia UP, 1995).
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Top Customer Reviews
While his writing is probably tough-going for the typical modern day reader, De Quincey was truly a master stylist of English prose (one of the greatest who ever lived) and the writing here is lushly impeccable -- beautiful and poetic. Contemporary readers, do not be afraid of this kind of book! Sure, it might be difficult to read (it's certainly not "dummied down" like so much modern day stuff), but if you don't try, I think you'll be missing out on a great adventure. After all, consider, Shakespeare and the Bible are difficult to read too!
In any event, these writings of De Quincey's, quite autobiographical, tell of the marvelous stimulus to creativity and pleasure that opium can provide (at least, in the initial phases) to those who become emeshed in her dark empire, as well as the chilling aftermath -- the pathetic fear and trembling that inevitably follow from addiction. At his peak usage, I have read that De Quincey was doing around 8,000 drops a day (approximately 80 teaspoons). As one of the other reviewers here correctly noted, tincture of opium (I think that it actually came as a liquid blend of opium, drinking alcohol, and cinnamon) was sold over-the-counter as medicine in neighborhood apothecary shops (drug stores and pharmacies) in those days.Read more ›
As a recounting of a man's struggle with addiction it is a compelling story.
De Quincey's prose is definitely difficult to read (it's not an easy, mindless self help book), but it is definitely worth reading, and it's absolutely fascinating as Thomas accounts for his opium habit, and the ways it affected him and his work. Opium was staggeringly popular during De Quincey's time, and it wasn't very difficult to get. De Quincey published the confessions twice. The original, shorter version is the one you have here, and it's the only one still available. The longer version (which I have read to some degree) is good too, but it feels padded and is rather uneven. Most scholars have agreed that the shorter version is better. I wish they had included the longer version so we could compare ourselves, but I'm happy this edition is out.
In her introduction to the Penguin Classic edition, Alethea Hayter describes DeQuincey's prose as "highly charged, close-textured, every word and syllable choice enriched with music and imagery", "prose (that) works like a spell, powerfully moving even apart from the meaning of the words."
I can't improve on that characterization.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was an intetesting view of the mindset behind being a drug user. Dont let the age/ language of the book put you off; its definitely worth a read.Published 6 days ago by Meagan Nicholas
I find myself perplexed indeed to this work. I am not a particularly scholarly gentleman, though I am seeking to grow my knowledge of the classics, the style in which they're... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert Pettinger
Now published as a full book, this manuscript originated as serial submissions to London Magazine in September and October of 1821, published again in the magazine, in its... Read morePublished 10 months ago by EpicFehlReader
I mean, I'm writing a 10 page paper over it, so I kind of have to like it, but all in all, it really is an amazing book. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Smimming Rox
I write this review primarily as a note on the subject matter of the book. I picked up the book primarily to gain an insight into the phenomenology of opium-eating. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Josh Kugel