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Thomas De Quincey
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    (August 15, 1785-December 8, 1859)
    Born in Manchester, England, United Kingdom
    Wrote 'Confessions of an English Opium Eater' (1822), 'Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts' (1827), 'Suspiria de Profundis' (1845) and 'Autobiographical Sketches' (1853)
    While at Oxford, he was 'looked upon as a strange being who associated with no one.'
    He left Oxford without a degree.
    He lasted little over a year as a newspaper editor due to his tendency to miss deadlines.
    He was addicted to opium.
    He lost all his teeth.
    He fathered a son with Margaret Simpson before marrying her.
    He was a hoarder who would abandon his lodgings when they became too cluttered with books and papers and rent another house.
    He was in debt for much of his life, until his mother died leaving him an annuity of £200 per year and his daughters grew old enough to take over the household finances.
    His 'Confessions' inspired other writers, including Francis Thompson and Branwell Bronte, to take opium.
    He was bullied by his older brother.
    He began taking opium for trigeminal neuralgia, attacks of stabbing pain in the face.
    He turned his opium addiction into a best seller.
    His writing style influenced Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire and Jorge Luis Borges.
    His 'Confessions' inspired Hector Berlioz's 'Symphonie Fantastique.'
    His 'Suspiria' inspired horror director Dario Argento's trilogy 'Suspiria,' 'Inferno' and 'The Mother of Tears.'
    He wrote, 'If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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