The Confessions Of An English Opium-Eater

This is the third of the four books published in 1948.  The text used is the 1856 revision of the original 1821 work. The book was printed in Belgium on poor quality paper which did not suit the engravings. Another edition was issued in 1963 which is reported to be a much superior presentation.



The Book  IMG_0012 (Large)

The sixth book was an autobiographical account by Thomas De Quincey. Although principally about the effects of opium on himself it also provides insights into his childhood and youth, and his thoughts on contemporary poets and other artistic figures.

The Illustrations

The illustrations were wood engravings by one of England's fine practitioners of that art. This book was the first of the Folio Society to be so illustrated, and the illustrations were obtained from another publisher who was unable to issue them. Perhaps that publisher was Golden Cockerel which had a close relationship with the Folio Society in the early days.

The process of wood engraving is described here

The Illustrator

Blair Hughes-Stanton (1902 – 1981) learnt wood engraving at Leo Underwood's School of Painting and Sculpture in Hammersmith in the 1920s. The Confessions is the only book he illustrated for the Folio Society. He was badly injuried in WWII and was unable to continue as a wood engraver, though he did continue teaching and working in other media. Here are a few other illustrations from the book.

IMG_0002 (Large) IMG_0003 (Large)


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The  next book will be Brat Farrar  which was published in 2010, then likely back to a book from the '40s







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