Critical and Historical Essays Contributed to the Edinburgh Review (Volume 2)

9780217697040: Critical and Historical Essays Contributed to the Edinburgh Review (Volume 2)

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1870. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... 504 SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE. (october, 1838.) Memoirs of the Life, Works, and Correspondence of Sir William Temple. By the Right Hon. Thomas Peregrine Courtenat. 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1836. Mr. Courtenat has long been well known to politicians as an industrious and useful official man, and as an upright and consistent member of Parliament. He has been one of the most moderate, and, at the same time, one of the least pliant members of the Conservative party. His conduct has, indeed, on some questions, been so Whiggish, that both those who applauded and those who condemned it have questioned his claim to be considered as a Tory. But his Toryism, such as it is, he has held fast through all changes of fortune and fashion; and he has at last retired from public life, leaving behind him, to the best of our belief, no personal enemy, and carrying with him the respect and good will of many who strongly dissent from his opinions. This book, the fruit of Mr. Courtenay's leisure, is introduced by a preface in which he informs us that the assistance furnished to him from various quarters "has taught him the superiority of literature to politics for developing the kindlier feelings, and conducing to an agreeable life." We are truly glad that Mr Courtenay is so well satisfied with his new employment, and we heartily congratulate him on having been driven by events to make an exchange which, advantageous as it is, few people make while they can avoid it. He has little reason, in our opinion, to envy any of those who are still engaged in a pursuit from which, at most, they can only expect that, by relinquishing liberal studies and social pleasures, by passing nights without sleep and summers without one glimpse of the beauty of nature, they may attain that laborious, that invidious, ...

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"Among the best essayists of the romantic era... De Quincey may be viewed as a proto-Burroughs, as well as a British cousin to Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire, he might with a stretch even be seen as an ancestor of the J.G. Ballard...turn immediately to this excellent, detailed and often harrowing biography" (Washington Post)

"Thomas de Quincey was the original cosmonaut of inner space, his Confessions of an English Opium Eater predating the wave of drug buddy literature from William Burroughs to Irvine Welsh by half a century or more" (Glasgow Herald)

"A stimulating cocktail: exotic dream-sequences conjured up in baroque prosepoetry, camp Gothic effects worthy of Hammer Horror, classical quotations, London street-slang and sprawling footnotes on German philosophy. De Quincey served up this heady concoction of high-culture and low-life in all of his finest writings... At his best, however, he is one of the finest English prose stylists for sheer variety and opiumtinted vividness" (Mail on Sunday)

"The first - and still is the finest - literary dope fiend" (Guardian)

"It is one of the classics of 19th-century life writing and its influence is still felt" (Observer)

Book Description:

The original drug memoir - a true nineteenth century account of the pleasures and pains of addiction

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