FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Confessions of an English... has been added to your Basket
FREE Delivery on orders over £10.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Over 2 million items sold. Fast dispatch and delivery. Excellent Customer Feedback. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Confessions of an English Opium Eater (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 27 Mar 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£504.74
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£3.25 £1.54
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Confessions of an English Opium Eater (Penguin Classics)
  • +
  • Romanticism: An Anthology (Blackwell Anthologies)
Total price: £32.28
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (27 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140439013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140439014
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 139,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) studied at Oxford, failing to take his degree but discovering opium. He later met Coleridge, Southey and the Wordsworths. From 1828 until his death he lived in Edinburgh and made his living from journalism. Barry Milligan is Professor of English at Wright State University and author of Pleasures and Pains (Virginia UP, 1995).


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First, I would recommend the Oxford over the Penguin edition. They both contain the same material: the 1821 edition of the Confessions and the later Suspiria de Profundis and English Mail-Coach but, apart from its airier format, the Oxford edition has a better introduction, providing literary and biographical insights into De Quincey's work instead of the somewhat tendentious material on opium's nineteenth-century social characteristics proposed by Barry Milligan in the Penguin version.

As to the Confessions, they are more interesting as autobiographical material than for what they say about opium addiction, and you risk being disappointed if you are looking for something racy. The novella, which first came out in magazine format, caused less controversy than might be imagined, since the sale and consumption of opium were legal in Britain, without limitations, and De Quincey was far from the only addict in the literary world. The Confessions are a poetical work anyway, and the author's descriptions of the pains and pleasures of opium are less literal than about exploring the power of dreams and raw imagination. A second strand is autobiographical, going into De Quincey's struggles and flight from London as a penniless student and other later experiences. The Suspiria, meanwhile, are somewhat redundant, though they dwell on De Quincey's unhappiness at the loss of his sister when still a child. And the Mail-Coach is a highly entertaining flight of fancy that returns to the more phantasmagorical opium dreams of the Confessions. In the midst of it all, De Quincey, who was foremost an essayist and commentator and who lived from the pen, rambles from one subject to another from classical Greek theatre to political economy.
Read more ›
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
The introduction to this book explains why it is such an enduring classic, and what makes it such a fascinating read.

I am glad I read the introduction. It was the most coherent, interesting thing about the book.

I can see why, in its day, this was such a shocking and popular work. My understanding is that prior to this nobody had really discussed the pros and cons of opium addiction, nor indeed written anything so confessional. We may have De Quincey to thank for the slew of celebrity biographies that crowd the shelves in modern bookshops.

Or not.

This book really is for experts and enthusiasts in the field of literature and the history of how literature has been shaped, and changed over the centuries. It is not a must read for those with a casual interest in the classics.

Originally this was published as two separate pieces, and published and written in a hurry because De Quincey needed the money. You can see that from the disjointed, rushed way in which it was written. It is sketchy at best. It meanders all over the place. It doesn't really get around to talking about opium at all until the second section of the book. Even then De Quincey swings backwards and forwards in his writing, quite often saying one thing and then reneging on it, repeating himself, leaving trains of narrative open ended and dangling.

The copy I have gives you the original work of 1822 and then revisions from the 1856 amended version afterwards, which makes it even more frustrating to read.

Having known a few addicts in my time, it is clear to see that much of it was written in the grip of an addiction, and certainly the physical and mental effects of opium addiction can be traced in the meandering half hearted narrative he presents, and his love/hate relationship with the drug.

It is, frankly, a bit of a mess, and quite a disappointment because of it.
2 Comments 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Incredibly trippy book written when De Quincey was hallucinating. It makes for an interesting read especially if you're into the whole orientalism and drugs thing. I found it harder to follow towards the end of the book for the obvious reason that the opiates had taken over and made his thoughts barely understandable.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really had trouble getting to grips with this book and did not really find it enjoyable.
De Quincey's tendency to ramble on and completely and utterly stray from what he was trying to say does make reading it a bit difficult and boring at points.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Obviously De Quincy is intelligent and a good author, in my opinion. However, he is too flowery for my liking. What is interesting is his descriptions of how easy it was to procure Laudanam and how it distracts the brain, even in a well educated man.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this story very much is is a real insight into the life and times, a fascinating journey into the underbelly of the opium scene
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The description was a bit different regarding the book status but it doesn't matter.
All perfect and quick delivery!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback