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In the Arms of Morpheus: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine, And Patent Medicines Paperback – December 30, 2001


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Paperback, December 30, 2001
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (December 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756787394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756787394
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,902,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas de Quincy were notorious for their opium dreams, but who would have thought that (as related here) Louisa May Alcott, George Washington, and Florence Nightingale were also habitues of the drug? Although opium's use spans millennia, doctors in the late 18th and 19th centuries found it invaluable in combating symptoms of the then-common plagues of cholera, tuberculosis, and dysentery. Laudanum, a potent mixture of opium, wine, and spices, became increasingly widespread, particularly prized for its mind-altering qualities by artists, writers, and neurasthenic Victorian housewives. Meanwhile, various patent medicines containing opiates, including "Soothing Syrup" for teething babies, sold at every country store. The development of morphine in the 1820s and heroin in 1898 made opium more concentrated and more addictive. British novelist and book designer Hodgson follows up her recent Opium: A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon (Chronicle, 1999) with this history of opium's derivatives. In a creative mixture of narrative, literary excerpts, photographs, and illustrations, she portrays both the allure and the danger of addiction. Her fascinating cultural history is enthusiastically recommended for public libraries. Kathy Arsenault, Univ. of South Florida Lib., St. Petersburg
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The halcyon days of laudanum and other over-the-counter narcotics are colorfully and blissfully recalled in Hodgson's enjoyable study of opium's principal alkaloid and mankind's friend--morphine. As in Opium (1999), Hodgson delivers solid history wrapped in an illustrative continuum of vintage ads and other lush colorplates and rife with succulent historical tidbits, such as that Bismarck required a shot of morphine before addressing the annoying Reichstag. The morphine story isn't all dreamy timelessness and heightened senses, and Hodgson also discloses the seamy side, particularly the dastardly use of morphine in patent medicines, which became a powerful factor motivating subsequent strict regulation of once widely and legally procurable palliatives. A filmography, "Opium at the Movies," and a bibliography increase the richness of the opulent little book. Don't think that it is at all a pro-drug manifesto, however. It is a history of morphine's impact on popular culture that may stir readers to think more deeply about current efforts to suppress all psychoactive substances. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
In Arms Of Morpheus is the history of laudanum, morphine and patent medicines is revealed from the addictive growth of a drug widely available as an over the counter medicine to treat ailments ranging from boredom to a lack of creativity. Manufacturers claimed all kinds of cures from the use of morphine: In Arms Of Morpheus traces the history of such contentions and includes plenty of ads, photos, cartoons and other embellishments to make for lively general-interest reading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Long Tall Sally on September 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
wonderfully written. comprehensively researched. fascinating. entertaining. scholarly, yet really engaging prose: the sort of book that makes you feel like you are sitting down with the author and listening to them tell you a captivating story about their discoveries rather than merely reading the cold word off the dead page.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cooperandre on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
In the Arms of Morpheus, briefly touches on the history of addiction to Opium, Morphine, Heroine and Laudanum. It seems that the good old days were good for a different reason and unknowingly people bought medicines that contained highly addictive drugs such as Opium. The author goes into a brief yet well presented book of this nasty history one that may make you think twice about your sweet innocent great grandparents.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful By EquinoX on September 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
From the author that brought you portrait of a heavenly Demon, arrives this member of Opium history, No there is no Neo in this read. But you just might fall into a different plane of existence "not legally of course.' In The Arms Of Moupheus' is A very balanced factual book about the basic Opiate extracts i.e. morphine, Laudanum, smokeable opium heroine and Codine.

With well thought out history exerts but not to extensive, in my collection for Opied history I use it quite a bit and I'm no history major "what I'm trying to say is that it's not all cites: It's very eye opining "I couldn't put it down "from Ads, famous people to some excellent photography. "This is full of grate eye candy."

Hodgson has been successful in capturing these moments in there time period, and opened some of the taboos sounded with Opieds. Fun Factual and Fascinating!!!!

A must read.

EquinoX
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