‘Confessions of an Opium Eater’ (1890s)

[Non-Scottish Publications Contents]

This is a book I had borrowed from a friend and read as a teenager, though that edition was far more contemporary than that before you in this post. That publication’s title had the qualifier of the author’s nationality, i.e., ‘Confessions of an English Opium Eater.’ It and its author, Thomas de Quincey, are mentioned fairly often, in varying Scottish publications I’ve uploaded so far, by dint of his having spent some amount of time towards the end of his life in Edinburgh, where he died on the 8th of December, 1859, for which day Chambers, in his ‘Book of Days‘ (1886), devotes an article to him.

This particular publication is undated but H. M. Caldwell Co. of New York were only in operation from 1896-1914. My search to narrow it down only really came up with other collectors’ assumptions of it being a 19th century publication. So I’m happy to go with them on it.

T. de Quincey (1890s), ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ New York: H. M. Caldwell Co., Front Cover.

T. de Quincey (1890s), ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ New York: H. M. Caldwell Co., Spine.

T. de Quincey (1890s), ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ New York: H. M. Caldwell Co., Frontispiece.

T. de Quincey (1890s), ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ New York: H. M. Caldwell Co., Publisher’s Page.

T. de Quincey (1890s), ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ New York: H. M. Caldwell Co., Illustration, p.56a;

“Uttering a cry of terror, but without a moment’s delay, she ran off into Oxford Street.”

T. de Quincey (1890s), ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ New York: H. M. Caldwell Co., Illustration, p.110a;

“When I lay awake in bed, vast processions passed along in sorrowful pomp.”

T. de Quincey (1890s), ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ New York: H. M. Caldwell Co., Illustration, p.150a;

“I saw through vast avenues of gloom these towering gates of ingress.”

T. de Quincey (1890s), ‘Confessions of an Opium Eater,’ New York: H. M. Caldwell Co., “M. D. H.” library stamp.

7 thoughts on “‘Confessions of an Opium Eater’ (1890s)

  1. Hi, I’m trying to find out about a copy of this book, published by H..M Caldwell Co Publishers New York and Boston, hard-cover, that has a beautiful green cover, gold leaf, & blue, w some kind of flower on the front. It doesn’t have a date it was published. Does anyone have any idea where I might find more info? I’ve seen widely variety of prices on this book & just would like a bit more info. I’ve had it for year’s & just love the craftsmanship of it. Thank you.

    1. As you can see from my intro to this book, I really had to rely on whatever I could find about it from the internet. From what I could find about those published by Caldwell, it would seem as if it was in the first few years of their operations that it was published, so you could probably do as I did & go on the assumption it’s an end of the 19thC publication. Old books are also worth whatever a person’s able & willing to pay for it, there’s not really a way to judge that without an attempt to sell it. I’m quite happy to obtain copies of publications that seem mostly destroyed, as long as the main text is extant & readable. They can always be renewed with a new binding after they’ve been uploaded.

  2. When I worked as a humble clerkess at Wm Blackwood & Sons in 1960s, Blackwood’s Magazine was still in operation. I used to take great pleasure in reading back numbers from the archives and remember Confessions of an Opium Eater being published as a short story in a Blackwood’s Magazine of yore. I read it and was unaware in was published by anyone else. I am sorry I cannot remember what the year of publication was.

  3. What a lovely edition. Never read the book, but now you’ve given me the incentive so it’s next on the list. [ As you may know from my recent exchange with Alex I’d never have made it as an opium eater myself 😉 ]

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