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Emperors of Dreams
by Mike Jay
"Coleridge and de Quincey swilling bitter draughts of opium, Sigmund Freud and Sherlock Holmes dallying with cocaine, Baudelaire and Gautier rapt in hashish fantasies behind velvet curtains, even Queen Victoria swallowing her prescription dose of cannabis - these snapshot images are familiar, but what is the story which lies behind them? How did cannabis and cocaine, opium ...more
Paperback, 100 pages
Published February 25th 2015 by Dedalus
(first published May 1st 2002)
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Remember the good old days when you could run down to the corner market and pick up some opium? Neither do I. Well, I guess you still can run down to the corner market and pick up some opium, but I'm sure it costs a lot more and the guy you're buying it from probably mixed dog poop into it or something else. And opium is kinda hard to find, not like pot, which seems to be falling out of the sky, and besides, I doubt the guy on the corner has any opium, but anyway... So, Emperors of Dreams. I lik ...more
Mike Jay’s Emperors of Dreams (Dedalus Books, 2000) is a fascinating look at drugs in the 19th century. It's yet another example of the popular perception of the Victorian era as repressive and paternalistic being quite wrong. For most of the 19th century most western governments adopted the very sensible and (by today’s standards) amazingly enlightened policy of considering that if you wanted to take drugs it was your own business and that it was not the place of government to interfere. At the ...more