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Guilty Thing (Digital Audiobook)

A Life of Thomas De Quincey

By Frances Wilson, Mil Nicholson (Narrator)

Publication Date: October 3, 2016

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (10/17/2017)
MP3 CD (10/4/2016)
Compact Disc (10/4/2016)
Compact Disc (10/4/2016)
Hardcover (10/4/2016)


A dynamic biography of one of the most mysterious members of Wordsworth's circle and the last of the romanticsThomas De Quincey-opium eater, celebrity journalist, and professional doppelganger-is embedded in our culture. Modeling his character on Coleridge and his sensibility on Wordsworth, De Quincey took over the latter's cottage in Grasmere and turned it into an opium den. There, increasingly detached from the world, he nurtured his growing hatred of his former idols and his obsession with murder as one of the fine arts.Though De Quincey may never have felt the equal of the giants of romantic literature, the writing style he pioneered-scripted and sculptured emotional memoir-would inspire generations of writers, including Dickens, Dostoevsky, and Virginia Woolf. James Joyce knew whole pages of his work by heart.As Frances Wilson writes, "Life for De Quincey was either angels ascending on vaults of cloud or vagrants shivering on the city streets." In this spectacular biography, Wilson's meticulous scholarship and supple prose tells the riches-to-rags story of a figure of dazzling complexity and originality, whose life was lived on the run yet who came to influence some of the world's greatest literature. Guilty Thing brings De Quincey and his martyred but wild soul triumphantly to life and firmly establishes Wilson as one of our foremost contemporary biographers.

About the Author

was educated at Oxford University and lectured on nineteenth- and
twentieth-century English literature for fifteen years before becoming a
full-time writer. Her books include Literary
Seductions: Compulsive Writers and Diverted Readers
and The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth: A Life,
which won the British Academy Rose Mary Crawshay Prize. She reviews widely in
the British press and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She
divides her time between London and Normandy.