Portrait of English essayist and critic Thomas De Quincey.

Thomas De Quincey

(1785 - 1859)

Afflicted with ague and whooping cough as a child, Thomas De Quincey excelled at the study of Latin and Greek. “That boy,” a master once said of him, “could harangue an Athenian mob better than you or I could address an English one.” De Quincey first took opium to treat a toothache in 1804 and began using the drug daily in 1812. He published his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater serially to wide acclaim in 1821 in London Magazine, to which he also contributed essays on suicide, Thomas Malthus, and Macbeth.

All Writing

Voices In Time

1845 | Edinburgh

Second Life

Thomas De Quincey peels back the layers of the brain.More

Voices In Time

1804 | London

Helping Himself

Thomas De Quincey enters the church of opium.More

Voices In Time

1822 | London

Consumer Report

Thomas De Quincey says opium is far more agreeable than alcohol.More

Cows are among the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them—and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures.

—Thomas De Quincey, 1821

Issues Contributed