EMPERORS OF DREAMS:
Drugs in the Nineteenth Century with Mike Jay
3rd of October 2013
Doors at 6:30 pm, Talk commences at 7 pm
Ticket price £15
Coleridge and de Quincey swilling laudanum. Sigmund Freud and Sherlock Holmes dallying with cocaine. Baudelaire and Gautier rapt in hashish fantasies. Queen Victoria with her prescription of cannabis. As every schoolboy knows, consciousness-altering drugs did not become illegal in this country until the early part of this century. Until then, people had been able to go to the chemist for any number of pick-me-up or put-me-down potions, tonics and powders, containing various concentrations of opium, cocaine, or cannabis. The situation was not even regarded as a problem, except for an unfortunate few.
In his talk Mike Jay tells us how we got from there to here; and also how we got there in the first place revealing what impact the growth of the narcotic's industry had on that century's dreams and nightmares.
Mike Jay has written extensively on the cultural history of science, medicine, drugs, madness and politics. He’s the author and editor of nine titles including The Air Loom Gang (of which Oliver Sacks wrote, “I have never seen the logic of madness so clearly and convincingly expressed…a wonderful book”) and The Unfortunate Colonel Despard, hailed as “popular history at its best” by the Times.
This talk takes place at Carlyle's House - 24 Cheyne Row
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