Thomas De Quincey: Confessions of an English Opium Eater

(2950 words)
  • Joel Black (University of Georgia)

First published in the September and October 1821 issues of the London Magazine and as a book the following year, the Confessions of an English Opium-Eater established Thomas De Quincey (1785–1859) as a pre-eminent English writer of the Romantic and early Victorian periods. As his best known work which showcases his characteristic “impassioned prose”, the Confessions combines mundane autobiographical events and visionary fantasies in a vivid, often digressive manner. De Quincey’s personal account of the effects of “a seventeen years’ use, and an eight years’ abuse of [opium’s] powers” (75) on his intellectual and imaginative faculties has influenced generations of writers and artists and has made …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Black, Joel. "Confessions of an English Opium Eater". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 April 2012
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Romanticism