Tag Archives: Opium

Heinrich Heine and the mattress tomb

Nicolás Roberto Robles  Badajoz, Spain   Harry Heine was born in Bolkerstrasse, Düsseldorf, Germany. He jokingly described himself as the “first man of the century,” claiming that he had been born on New Year’s Eve 1800. Researchers have discovered, however, that December 13, 1797, is most likely the date of his birth. The oldest of […]

The illness of Tom Wedgwood: a tragic episode in a family saga

John Hayman Melbourne, Australia   Figure 1. Tom Wedgwood, from the frontispiece of Tom Wedgwood, the First Photographer, by R.B. Litchfield (1903). The inscription reads: “From a chalk drawing belonging to Miss Wedgwood, of Leith Hill Place. Artist unknown.” Print in public domain. Tom Wedgwood (1771-1805) was born into the famous pottery dynasty as the […]

More than “toil and trouble”: Macbeth and medicine

Mariel Tishma Chicago, Illinois, United States   The Witches. Hans Baldung (called Hans Baldung Grien). 1510. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image of a woman – a witch — working over a bubbling cauldron filled with stomach-turning substances is a staple of both horror and more family friendly media. One such example is Shakespeare’s […]

Ella’s addiction: the story of a mother and morphine

Lisa Mulleneaux New York, NY, USA Ella Quinlan O’Neill in the early 1880s. Courtesy of Yale University Library Doctors today are relearning lessons from a century ago when overprescription of opioids created an epidemic of addicts, most of whom were upper-class or middle-class women. Eugene O’Neill’s mother, Mary “Ella” Quinlan O’Neill, was one of them, […]

Poppy power

John Graham-Pole Gainesville, Florida, USA   Dr. Graham-Pole with cancer patient, Bridget. At the time of the photo, Bridget had life-threatening cancer requiring opioids, and is now a successful artist. Author photo. The poppy’s juice . . .brings the sleep to dear Mama — Sara Coleridge, Pretty Lessons in Verse for Good Children   In Xanadu […]

Thomas De Quincey and Confessions of an English Opium-Eater: Opium as Medicine and Beyond

Jared T. Griffin Pennsauken, New Jersey, USA   If a man “whose talk is of oxen,” should become an Opium-eater, the probability is, that (if he is not too dull to dream at all)—he will dream about oxen: whereas, in the case before him, the reader will find that the Opium-eater boasteth himself to be […]