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: It is one of the first authoritative works on drug usage and addiction, and it was so influential that it inspired some contemporary writers to their own usage. Arthur Conan Doyle used it as the basis for one of his Sherlock Holmes stories. The Confessions of an English Opium-Eater is a startling firsthand account by English translator and essayist THOMAS DE QUINCEY (1785-1859) of his addiction to opium, which he initially began taking to soothe the pain of his nerve disorders and eventually resorted to for its capacity to enhance his creativity. This series of essays-on everything from the pleasures and pains of opium use to the impact on a user's wallet-first appeared anonymously in the magazine London in 1821, and were such a hit that they were soon collected in this book, first published the next year. They remain a compelling look inside the mind of an addict.