Thomas de Quincey

1785 (Manchester) – 1859 (Edinburgh)

De Quincey got to know his hero Wordsworth and Coleridge (whom he had met previously) after leaving university without a degree, and moving in to Dove Cottage in the Lakelands, formerly occupied by Wordsworth. Coleridge also introduced him to Southey. Having run out of funds, de Quincey moved to London and started writing for Lamb’s ‘London Magazine’, where ‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’ first appeared (Hill once found him hiding in the East End from drug-induced imaginary enemies). Carlyle became a fast friend, despite strongly opposing views; Clare described him as “something of a child overgrown.”