De Quincey, Thomas (DNB00)
|←D'Éon de Beaumont, Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste André Timothée||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 14
De Quincey, Thomas
|Derby, Alfred Thomas→|
DE QUINCEY, THOMAS (1785–1859), author of ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ was born at Greenheys, Manchester, 15 Aug. 1785. He was the fifth child of Thomas De Quincey, a merchant of reputation and of literary culture, who contributed an ‘Account of a Tour in the Midland Counties’ to the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ for 1774; reprinted with additions in 1775 (Notes and Queries, 5th ser. iv. 407, xii. 61). The De Quinceys were an old family who took their name from the village of Quincey in Normandy. The Quincys of New England are offshoots from the same stock. De Quincey himself wrote his name ‘de Quincey,’ and would have catalogued it among the Q's (Page, Thomas De Quincey, i. 380). His mother's maiden name was Penson. Her two brothers were in the Indian army: Edward, who died young, and Thomas, who became a colonel, and was for many years superintendent of military buildings in Bengal. The elder De Quincey fell into ill-health soon after the son's birth, and had to spend much time abroad, coming home only to die when the son was in his seventh year. He left an estate of 1,600l. a year. The family consisted at this time of four sons and two daughters: William, five or six years older than Thomas; Mary, Thomas, Richard, Jane, and Henry, a posthumous child. The deaths of two elder sisters, Elizabeth, who died before Thomas was six, and Jane, who died before he was two, had made an impression upon him, commemorated in the ‘Autobiographic Sketches.’ After the father's death William and Thomas were sent for daily lessons to a guardian, the Rev. Samuel Hall, at Salford. William, who had been previously at the grammar school of Louth, was scarcely known to his brother, and De Quincey gives thanks that his infant feelings were moulded by the gentlest of sisters, not by ‘horrid pugilistic brothers.’ William was not only pugilistic, but a boy of remarkable talent. He despised the effeminacy of his delicate brother, domineered in the nursery, and compelled his junior to take part in quarrels with the factory children of the district. His childish fancy created the kingdoms of Gombroon and Tigrosylvania, whose annals may be found in the ‘Autobiographic Sketches,’ and he showed an artistic talent, which led to his being placed as a pupil under Loutherbourg, a Royal Academician. He died of typhus in his sixteenth year. Thomas showed his early promise as a scholar. His mother removed to Bath and sent him to the Bath grammar school, under Dr. Morgan, in his eleventh year. He was accompanied by his brother Richard, or ‘Pink,’ four years younger than himself. The singular career of this boy, who ran away to sea, was taken by pirates, and afterwards became a midshipman, is told in the ‘Autobiographic Sketches’ (chap. xii.). At Bath De Quincey became famous for his skill in writing Latin verses, and then took to Greek, in which he could write easily at thirteen and converse fluently at fifteen. He was removed from Bath on account of a severe illness which ‘threatened his head,’ and was caused by a blow from an usher (Page, i. 36). His mother, a woman of strict evangelical principles, thought that his vanity had been over stimulated by his successes. She kept him for a time under her own eye, and then sent him to another school at Winkfield, Wiltshire, where the religious principles were more satisfactory than the scholarship of the master. Here he became a friend of E. W. Grinfield [q. v.], afterwards a biblical critic, who joined him in writing a school paper called ‘The Observer.’ A year later De Quincey paid a visit to a friend, Lord Westport, then at Eton, son of Lord Altamont, an Irish peer. They had met at Bath at the house of a common friend. De Quincey saw George III, who talked to him about the De Quincey family. He then took a tour to his friend's family in Ireland in 1800, where he was present at the last sitting of the Irish House of Lords. Returning to England, he paid a visit to Lord Carbery's seat at Laxton, Northamptonshire. Lady Carbery, a clever woman, about ten years his senior, had been a Miss Watson. She had known the De Quinceys and made a pet of Thomas in his childhood. She now regarded him as an Admirable Crichton, consulted him in her Greek studies and in theological questions, and tried in return to teach him to ride. In 1801 he was sent by his guardians to the Manchester grammar school. A residence of three years would entitle him to an exhibition of forty guineas, which, added to his allowance of 150l., would enable him to proceed to Oxford. The master, Charles Lawson, was a good scholar, but already growing old; he had drunk the Pretender's health with Byrom, had been disappointed in love, and had become an infirm recluse and an inefficient master. The time allowed to his pupils for exercise had dwindled into nothing. De Quincey's liver became deranged, and he was dosed to excess by a stupid apothecary. The intellectual standard of the school was apparently high. De Quincey's mother had subscribed for him to the Manchester Library, and he had friends outside the school. Lady Carbery passed the winter at Manchester and made him her associate in Hebrew studies. He formed an intimacy with John Clowes [q. v.] the Swedenborgian, then an old man, who took a final leave of secular studies by giving away the last remnant of his classical library, a Clarke's ‘Odyssey,’ to De Quincey. He made the acquaintance also of Roscoe and Currie, the biographer of Burns, while visiting some friends at Liverpool. His ill-health, however, and the monotonous routine of the school made him wretched, and he entreated to be removed. His guardians were obdurate, and at last he determined to run away. He obtained a loan of ten guineas from Lady Carbery and escaped from the house in July 1802. He had thoughts of going to the lakes, a district already associated in his mind with Wordsworth's poetry. He had read ‘We are Seven’ in 1799, and in 1803 he opened a correspondence with Wordsworth himself. Meanwhile he resolved to go to Wales, after visiting Chester, where his mother was settled, and obtaining a secret interview with his sister. He reached Chester on foot in two days; the news of his flight had preceded him, the sister had set off in pursuit of the fugitive, and some servants who saw him near the house brought out his uncle, Colonel Penson, then at home on furlough. Penson rather sympathised with the boy's dislike of school, and it was agreed that he should be permitted to carry out his Welsh plan with an allowance of a guinea a week. He rambled for some time among the mountains, and made acquaintance with a German, De Haren, who initiated him in the study of Richter and other German authors. Living was ridiculously cheap, and he sometimes saved money by bivouacking in the open air, or lived upon bread and milk at hospitable farmhouses, repaying his entertainers by writing letters on love or business, and by the charm of his conversation. He felt the absence of books, and the larger hotels, where alone he could meet with educated conversers, were too expensive. He was resolved, however, to be independent of his guardians, and finally determined to go to London, hoping to raise 200l. which would supply him sufficiently until his majority. His London adventures are described in some of the most interesting chapters of the ‘Confessions.’ The money-lender to whom he applied was dilatory. His money vanished, and he was then allowed to sleep in a house in Greek Street, Soho, belonging to a disreputable but not unkindly attorney called Brunell, who acted as agent for money-lenders. Here he encamped at night with a neglected child for his sole companion, wandering about the streets and parks during the day. He made friends with outcast women who were kind to him, and especially with a girl called Ann, who once spent her last sixpence upon a glass of wine to revive him in a fainting fit. At last a family friend accidentally met him and gave him a 10l. note. He then went to Eton to try to get some security signed by his friend Lord Westport. Lord Westport was absent, but he obtained a promise from another acquaintance, Lord Desart, and returned to London. He now lost all traces of Ann, although they had arranged for a meeting, nor could he ever hear of her again. The money-lenders made difficulties about Lord Desart's conditions, but an unexplained accident suddenly led to reconciliation with his friends. He returned to Chester and was sent to Worcester College, Oxford, with an allowance of 100l. a year. The inadequacy of the sum caused new recourse to the money-lenders. Oxford seems to have made little impression upon De Quincey. London, the provost of Worcester, is said to have formed a high opinion of his talents. He was known for his conversational power, and regarded as a quiet and studious man. He studied Hebrew with a German named Schwartzburg. He extended his knowledge of German and English literature. He never took a degree. The reasons alleged are rather confused, but according to the most authentic statement made by him in 1821 to R. Woodhouse (notes of conversation in Garnett's edition of the ‘Opium Eater,’ 1885), he professed, like many clever young men, to despise the university system. He thought that the examiners laid traps instead of thoroughly investigating the merits of the students, and was annoyed by the abandonment of a new plan for allowing candidates to answer in Greek upon Greek subjects. After distinguishing himself in Latin, he therefore disappeared before the Greek examination. It is also suggested that he shrank nervously from the vivâ voce, or thought that his merits were not of the kind to win full recognition. At any rate his career, like that of Southey, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Landor, and others, was not of the kind most pleasing to the authorities. During his Oxford residence he first began opium-eating. He suffered during a visit to London from a violent attack of toothache and rheumatism in the head, and by the advice of a college friend bought some laudanum at a druggist's ‘near the Pantheon.’
De Quincey's mother was now residing in Somersetshire. She had a passion for building. After leaving the priory, she built a house at Westhay, Somersetshire, and finally settled at Weston Lea, near Bath. De Quincey was often at Bristol and took long rambles amongst the Quantocks and Mendips. He had been profoundly impressed by the ‘Lyrical Ballads,’ and had already made inquiries after Coleridge. In 1807, Coleridge had just returned from Malta, and De Quincey went to Nether Stowey to seek his personal acquaintance. They finally met at Bridgewater [see Coleridge, Samuel Taylor]. De Quincey became an ardent admirer of his new friend and gave substantial proofs of affection. He escorted Mrs. Coleridge and her children to Grasmere, where he first saw Wordsworth, with whom he had already corresponded, and he visited Southey at Greta Hall. He returned to Bristol in the autumn and made a munificent offer of 500l. to Coleridge through Cottle. By Cottle's advice, the sum actually given—without revealing the giver's name—was reduced to 300l. He was again at Oxford in the early part of 1808, and then stayed in London with a college friend, seeing Coleridge frequently and meeting Sir H. Davy, Lamb, and others. He was keeping terms at the Middle Temple, though he does not appear to have seriously contemplated practice at the bar. At the end of the year he returned to Grasmere and stayed with Wordsworth till February 1809. He took a lease of the cottage which had been vacated by Wordsworth. Miss Wordsworth superintended the furnishing, while De Quincey went to London, saw Wordsworth's pamphlet upon the ‘Convention of Cintra’ through the press, adding an appendix, done, according to Wordsworth, in the ‘most masterly manner,’ and returned to Westmoreland in November 1809. Here he settled in his picturesque cottage at Townend, previously occupied by Wordsworth and afterwards by Hartley Coleridge. De Quincey filled it with so many books that Coleridge (who was now domiciled for a time with Wordsworth) had sometimes five hundred volumes from it at once, which he scrupulously returned. De Quincey was thus intimate with the so-called ‘Lake School.’ He was on friendly terms with Wordsworth, though, after a year or two, their friendship seems to have cooled. He was strongly attached to the children, and deeply affected by the deaths of Catherine and Thomas Wordsworth in 1812. His love of children was always a marked feature of his childlike character. Charles Lloyd was another friend, but his closest ally was Professor Wilson, who had been his contemporary, though unknown to him, at Oxford. De Quincey and Wilson took long nocturnal rambles, for De Quincey, though not possessed of Wilson's athletic prowess, was a good walker through life. In the winters of 1814–15 and 1815–16 he accompanied Wilson on visits to Edinburgh, and they had talked of a tour to the East. He also paid occasional visits to London (see ‘Walking Stewart,’ in Works, vii. 6) and Somersetshire.
De Quincey read German metaphysics and took opium at first in moderation. The practice, however, became more habitual during 1813, in consequence of an irritation of the stomach, probably produced by the hardships endured in Wales and London. He was taking 340 grains of opium daily. He made an effort to conquer the habit, reducing the 340 to forty grains. An attachment formed at Grasmere gave a motive for reform. Finding himself greatly benefited by his reduced consumption, he was married at the end of 1816 to Margaret Simpson, daughter of a ‘statesman’ living near him at the ‘Nab.’ His wife attended him till her death with admirable affection and judgment, which he has gratefully recorded. The habit, however, soon mastered him again, and he suffered from profound depression. He gave up a contemplated philosophical work to be called (after Spinoza) ‘De Emendatione Humani Intellectus,’ and became incapable of serious work. In the beginning of 1819 he read Ricardo's ‘Political Economy,’ and was so impressed by it as to draw up ‘Prolegomena of all future systems of Political Economy.’ This again was laid aside, and he suffered from tremendous dreams, in which he sometimes seemed to live through a century in a night. He was haunted by the monstrous figure of a crocodile, or visions of Ann and early acquaintances, especially a certain Malay, whom he had found wandering in the Lakes and presented with a large dose of opium. The Malay was not found dead, but long continued to ‘run amuck’ through De Quincey's dreams. Meanwhile a bank in which a large part of his money had been invested failed, and he became in need of some means of support. He had contributed to ‘Blackwood’ and the ‘Quarterly Review.’ In the summer of 1819 he became editor of the ‘Westmoreland Gazette.’ His duties must have enforced a certain abstinence from opium. He explained his prospects to his uncle, Colonel Penson, and asked for a loan of 500l. with which and his literary earnings he would be able to remove to London and make a start in life. He continued to edit the paper for the greater part of a year, living, it seems, chiefly in Kendal, and then abandoned it as insufficiently remunerative. His articles were apparently not much better adapted to readers than Coleridge's ‘Friend,’ and his views of provincial journalism are sufficiently indicated in his enumeration of his qualifications, among which he reckons as especially valuable his knowledge of German literature and consequent power of drawing upon that ‘Potosi’ (Page, i. 249).
De Quincey had not only lost but given away large sums. His liberality amounted to reckless indifference to money (Page, i. 219). In 1821 he made a fresh attempt to break off his opium-eating, and went to London in search of literary work. He had already met Lamb in 1804 and upon subsequent visits, but had been kept at a certain distance by Lamb's ridicule of some of his idols. The Lambs now received him with a kindness which soon led to intimacy, and introduced him to Taylor and Hessey, who in July 1821 became proprietors of the ‘London Magazine’ (started in 1820). Thomas Hood, who was at this time sub-editor of the magazine; Talfourd, whose acquaintance he had made at the Middle Temple; Hazlitt, and other literary people met him at the dinners given by Taylor and Hessey. De Quincey lived near Soho Square for a time, and afterwards took a lodging at 4 York Street, Covent Garden (see Lowndes, Manual, art. ‘Quincey’). In this lodging he wrote the ‘Confessions of an English Opium Eater,’ containing some of his best work, which appeared in the ‘London Magazine’ for October and November 1821. It excited much attention, was reprinted in 1822, and reached a second edition in 1823, with an appendix giving a tabulated statement of his consumption of opium. A sympathetic notice by James Montgomery in the ‘Sheffield Iris’ brought from De Quincey an assertion of the literal fidelity of the narrative, in the number for December 1821. He continued to contribute till the end of 1824, his articles including ‘Letters to a Young Man whose Education has been Neglected’ (January, February, March, and May 1823), ‘Dialogue of the Three Templars’ (April and May 1824), with other economic discussions. An analysis of ‘Walladmor,’ a novel which had been passed off in Germany as Scott's, also appeared in 1824; and in the next year he undertook a translation of the original, which, however, he found expedient to compress, modify, and turn into ridicule. He next also contributed to Knight's ‘Quarterly Magazine,’ and stayed occasionally with Knight, who has given some curious anecdotes of his simplicity and helplessness in all matters of business. His reputation was growing, and he was introduced by his friend Wilson into the ‘Noctes Ambrosianæ’ (Blackwood, October 1823 and October 1825). He was again in Westmoreland for a time in 1825, but wrote to Wilson from London in a despondent humour in the beginning of 1826. Wilson replied by asking for contributions to ‘Blackwood.’ A translation of Lessing's ‘Laocoon’ appeared in that magazine in November 1826, and the first part of ‘Murder as one of the Fine Arts’ in February 1827. De Quincey continued to be an occasional contributor till 1849. The connection led to his settling in Edinburgh. He occupied Wilson's rooms there at the end of 1828, and from 1828 to 1830 contributed to the ‘Edinburgh Literary Gazette.’ After a time his two elder children followed him to Edinburgh for the educational advantages, and in 1830 Mrs. De Quincey joined him with the younger children. After this time he never returned to Grasmere. In 1832 De Quincey published his novel, ‘Klosterheim,’ which never had much popularity, though it is said to have been dramatised with success at two London theatres. From 1834 onwards he contributed many articles to ‘Tait's Magazine,’ most of them in the earlier period being autobiographic or reminiscences of Coleridge, Wordsworth, and other literary friends. They gave offence to the families concerned by their indiscreet revelations. They have now the interest of other indiscreet revelations; but it is impossible to acquit De Quincey either of indiscretion or of a certain spitefulness. Miss Martineau speaks of his conduct to Wordsworth, who seems to have dropped the acquaintance, with a severity which is only not justifiable because De Quincey was hardly a responsible being, and shows irritability rather than malice. Family troubles now fell upon him. His youngest son, Julius, died at the age of four in 1833; his eldest, William, who had shown remarkable promise, in his eighteenth year, of a brain disease, in 1835; and his wife in 1837. The loss was the more severe as his eldest daughter was still very young. She developed, however, premature thoughtfulness, and became an able manager of the household. De Quincey himself, finding that the children disturbed him by their noise, took separate lodgings for himself at 42 Lothian Street, kept by two sisters, Mrs. Wilson and Miss Stark. In 1840 he took a cottage at Mavis Bush, Lasswade, where his three daughters became permanently settled, two of his sons entering the army, and a third becoming a physician. De Quincey frequently lived with them, but he also led a more or less independent existence, taking lodgings and making temporary sojourns in various places. For some years after his wife's death he relapsed into opium excesses. He speaks of three previous periods of such indulgence, in the years immediately preceding, in those immediately succeeding, his marriage, and in London during 1824–5. In 1844, after prolonged sufferings, he made a great and final effort. In June 1844 he succeeded in reducing his daily dose to six grains, and, according to his daughter, never much exceeded that amount afterwards (Page, i. 330). He had handed over the management of money matters to his daughter, and had no further trouble, except from his persistent extravagance. He was given to a ‘wanton charity,’ so that his presence at home was the ‘signal for a crowd of beggars,’ who borrowed babies or otherwise played upon his sympathies (ib. i. 362). He had a morbid value for papers, which accumulated until he was ‘snowed up.’ When crowded out of his lodgings by such a catastrophe, he simply locked the door and went elsewhere. Conscientious landladies were overwhelmed with the responsibility thus imposed upon them, while others took advantage of the deposits in their care to extort money. Six of these storehouses existed at the time of his death, an arrangement involving considerable expense. An accident to such an accumulation at Lasswade nearly led to the burning down of the house. He has given a humorous description of the normal state of his papers in his paper on ‘Sortilege and Astrology.’ The charm of his conversation and his gentle courtesy attracted many friends, upon whom he would sometimes drop in accidentally and then stay for weeks. From March 1841 to June 1843 he was at Glasgow, where he stayed with Professor Lushington and with Professor Nichol, in whose astronomical researches he was interested, and where he afterwards took lodgings, retained until 1847, but ‘snowed up’ as usual by piles of books and papers. He was there for some months in 1847. In spite of his strange shiftlessness and habits of procrastination, made worse by the chaos in which he had to search for documents, he continued to do some literary work. From 1837 to 1841 he contributed papers to Blackwood. He wrote biographies of Shakespeare, Pope, and others for the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica.’ In 1844 he published ‘The Logic of Political Economy.’ He contributed to ‘Tait's Magazine’ during 1846 and 1847. After this period he became acquainted with Mr. James Hogg, who projected a collected edition of his works. Seven volumes of collected works had been published in America during 1851–2 by J. T. Fields, who visited De Quincey in the autumn of 1852, and liberally gave him a share of the profits. Mr. Hogg now induced him to revise a collected edition, which appeared between 1853 and 1860. De Quincey added many passages, writing at the same time a few articles for ‘Hogg's Instructor,’ which appeared in ‘Autobiographic Sketches,’ and afterwards in ‘Titan,’ a periodical also published by Hogg. De Quincey's notes to Hogg during the process (printed by Mr. Page) reveal constant difficulties caused by the hideous jumble of his papers and records, and at the same time an amiable desire to accept full responsibility for his shortcomings. He was pathetically and conscientiously anxious to obviate the consequences of his infirmities. To be nearer the press, he settled in his old lodgings at Lothian Street, where his landlady, Mrs. Wilson, and her sister, Miss Stark, attended him with the greatest kindness, but was frequently with his family at Lasswade, from which he could walk into Edinburgh. At the age of seventy he was still an active walker, and considered fourteen miles a day as a proper allowance. He would climb a hill ‘like a squirrel,’ discoursing upon German literature, and distancing a younger companion (Page, ii. 31).
His eldest daughter married in 1853, and settled in Ireland, where he paid her a visit in 1857. In 1855 his second daughter went to India to marry Colonel Baird Smith. De Quincey, though incompetent to manage a household, was always an affectionate father and grandfather. He took a great part in the education of his sons. He was interested in passing affairs, and especially moved by the Indian mutiny, in which his son-in-law played a prominent part at the siege of Delhi. But a more characteristic peculiarity was his intense interest in trials for murder, especially in the cases of Palmer and Madeline Smith. His fame brought him many visitors, though his singular habits enveloped him in a certain mystery, and he had an aversion to the ordinary social formalities. No one, however, could be more essentially courteous, and his utter incapacity for practical life challenged tenderness rather than condemnation. Hill Burton tells of his painful attempts to raise a loan of 7s. 6d., when it turned out that he had a 50l. note in his pocket, which he was incompetent to negotiate. It required a stratagem to get him to a dinner party, though, when once started in society, he might remain indefinitely. When fairly roused he talked with an eloquence and fluency rivalling that of Coleridge, but never fell into the error of Coleridge and other great talkers by monopolising the conversation. His love of music provided his greatest enjoyment. He loved solitary, nocturnal rambles, sometimes, it is said, lying down to sleep under the next hedge. At home he was charming, though frequently alarming his children by setting his hair on fire during his readings. He became gradually weaker for the last two years of his life, and finally sank on 8 Dec. 1859, carefully attended to the last by Miss Stark and his unmarried daughter. He was buried in the West Churchyard of Edinburgh. De Quincey had five sons: William, died 1835; Horace, who became an officer in the 26th Cameronians, served under Sir Hugh Gough in China, and died there in 1842; Francis, who became a physician, emigrated to Brazil, and died of yellow fever in 1861; Paul Frederick, who became an officer in the 70th regiment, served at Sobraon, and through the mutiny, was made brigade-major by Lord Strathnairn, and ultimately settled in New Zealand; and Julius, who died in 1833. He had three daughters: Margaret, who married Robert Craig, and died in 1871; Florence, who married Colonel Baird Smith, who died in India in 1861; and Emily, unmarried.
A ‘medical view’ of De Quincey's case by Dr. Eatwell, appended to Page's life (vol. ii. 309–39), gives an interesting investigation, tending to show that his opium-eating was due to his sufferings from ‘gastrodynia,’ and that opium was the sole efficient means of controlling the disease.
There is a curious parallel between the careers of Coleridge and De Quincey. De Quincey was profoundly influenced by the school of which Coleridge was a leader; he shared many of their prejudices or principles, and especially their revolt against the philosophical and literary principles dominant in the eighteenth century. While Coleridge and Wordsworth aimed at a poetical reformation, De Quincey tried to restore the traditions of the great prose writers of the seventeenth century, Jeremy Taylor, Sir Thomas Browne, and their contemporaries. His fine musical ear and rich imagination enabled him to succeed so far as to become one of the great masters of English in what he calls (preface to collected works) the ‘department of impassioned prose.’ In the visionary dreamland which is his peculiar domain he is unrivalled; and his stately rhetoric is also the fitting embodiment of a tender and delicate sentiment, often blended with real pathos, and at times lighted up by genuine humour. The ‘Confessions,’ the ‘Suspiria,’ and essays in the same line elsewhere are the work by which he will be permanently known. He clearly possessed, also, an intellect of singular subtlety. He never rivalled Coleridge by stimulating philosophical inquiry, and the degree of his metaphysical powers must be matter of conjecture; but he showed great power in the economical investigations which Coleridge despised. In the ‘Templars' Dialogues’ and the ‘Logic of Political Economy’ he appears chiefly as an expounder of Ricardo. J. S. Mill speaks of him with great respect, and adopts some of his illustrations of the theory of value (Political Economy, bk. iii. chs. i. ii.). He says, however, that De Quincey entirely fails to recognise one important principle. Mr. Shadworth Hodgson (Outcast Essays, 69–98) defends De Quincey and charges Mill with confusion. Mill's criticism appears to be well founded, but Mr. Hodgson's argument deserves careful consideration. De Quincey's infirmities caused many blemishes in his work; many articles are fragmentary; his reading, though wide, was desultory; he is often intolerably long-winded and discursive, and delights too much in logical wire-drawing; his reason is too often the slave of effeminate prejudices, and the humour with which he endeavours to relieve his stately passages is too often forced and strongly wanting in taste. But imperfect as is much of his work, he has left many writings which, in their special variety of excellence, are unrivalled in modern English. ‘Klosterheim’ (1839) and the ‘Logic of Political Economy’ (1844) were De Quincey's only separate publications. ‘The Confessions,’ reprinted from the ‘London Magazine’ in 1822, passed through six editions before the new and greatly enlarged edition of 1856. His other works appeared in periodicals, chiefly in the ‘London,’ ‘Blackwood's,’ and ‘Tait's’ Magazines. A full list of these with dates of first appearance is in Lowndes's ‘Manual’ (under ‘Quincey’). The first English edition of the collected works appeared from 1853 to 1860 in 14 vols. as ‘Selections Grave and Gay.’ A second and better arranged edition in 15 vols. was published in 1862. Two supplementary volumes have been added. The most complete edition is the American in 20 vols. 1852–5.[The Life, by H. A. Page, ‘with unpublished correspondence,’ 2 vols. 1881, gives the fullest details. See also J. H. Burton's Bookhunter (1882), 32–46 (character of ‘Papaverius’); Christopher North, by Mrs. Gordon, 2 vols. 1862; R. P. Gillies's Memoirs of a Literary Veteran (1851), ii. 218–20; C. Knight's Passages of a Working Life, i. 261; H. Martineau's Biographies (1861), 409–17; Froude's Carlyle, i. 263, 415, 427; David Masson's De Quincey (English Men of Letters), 1881; Payn's Literary Recollections, 56–8; The Confessions of an Opium Eater, edited by R. Garnett, 1885 (reprint of first edition, with recollections by R. Woodhouse, and a curious addition by De Musset to his early translation of the Opium Eater, now very rare); Personal Recollections of De Quincey by John Ritchie Findlay, 1885; Shadworth Hodgson's Outcast Essays, 1881, pp. 1–98.]