Excerpt from Confessions of an English Opium-Eater For over half a century De Quincey's position as one of our most important prose classics has been undisputed. The critical estimate of his contemporaries differs little from that of the Scottish Professors Minto, Masson, and Saintsbury in recent years. The publication of the authoritative edition of his writings, by the Messrs. Black, of Edinburgh (1889-90), has awakened fresh interest in the Opium-Eater. This revival has naturally manifested itself chiefly in the universities, but is extending rapidly into the secondary schools. De Quincey's greatest masterpiece, however, has been less frequently edited for college students than those of Burke, Lamb, Macaulay, Carlyle, or, indeed, most writers of his class, with the exception of Ruskin. This fact alone is, I hope, sufficient reason for offering the Confessions in its present form. The introduction makes claims to original research, but is intended to give, in condensed form, a biographical sketch of the author, and such critical material as the student would hardly have time, at this stage, to collate at first hand. In regard to the texts of the Confessions a situation which requires detailed explanation exists. For Parts II and III, the Pleasures and Pains of Opium, respectively, I have used the authors revised text of 1856. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.