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Thomas De Quincey


1785 - 1859

De Quincey Cottage, Polton
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

De Quincey Cottage, Polton

Author and poet. Born in Manchester (England), De Quincey was educated there before running away to Wales. He was drawn to Edinburgh in 1828, where he lodged for a time with Professor John Wilson (1785 - 1854) in Stockbridge. He then moved to the village of Polton (Midlothian), where he lived until his death. Most of his work was in the form of magazine articles and essays, and he was a significant contributor to Blackwood's Magazine over a period of twenty years. He is perhaps best-known for Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. He had first taken opium to relieve pain, but was soon addicted and remained and addict for the remainder of his life. He also wrote on economics, with The Logic of Political Economy appearing in 1844.

De Quincey is buried in St Cuthbert's Churchyard, Edinburgh.


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