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'Houses of voluntary bondage': theorizing the nineteenth-century gothic pharmography.

Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, 1762

How came any reasonable being to subject himself to such a yoke of misery, voluntarily to incur a captivity so servile, and knowingly to fetter himself with such a seven-fold chain? (1)

Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821)

By most accounts, the British Gothic novel was a paradoxical cultural product of the eighteenth century: 'an epiphenomena [sic] of modernity', (2) it figured the 'past as a lost Golden Age that ... [could] be recovered', (3) and reacted against 'the political, social, scientific, industrial, and epistemological revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which enabled the rise of the middle class'. (4) My own view is that the Gothic novel did not so much react against such revolutions as problematize their certainties. It thus functioned as a type of cautionary tale about what was frequently and unquestioningly labelled 'enlightened' and 'progressive'. Liberty, for example, a term dear to the Enlightenment's emancipatory project and the hearts of French revolutionaries intent on realizing a civil society founded on the principles of 'liberty, equality, and fraternity'--is championed in the pages of much Gothic fiction, (5) particularly in what has become popularly known as the 'feminine carceral'. (6) The issue of the judicious restriction of liberty in a civil society, however, is also paramount. As Maggie Kilgour has astutely observed, the Gothic 'frequently attacks ... the modern liberal assumption that the individual is a self-regulating autonomous entity who is able to govern his own passions rationally without the help, or hindrance, of external restraints'. (7) Such scenarios in the Gothic, Kilgour claims, are shown to result in 'rampant and anti-social individualism'. (8) Further to this, the Gothic repeatedly celebrates individual liberty yet poses the vexing conundrum--given that one person's liberty may involve another's enslavement--of how the liberty of one and all may be accommodated within a polity. Perhaps most insightfully, the Gothic explores the curious paradox whereby rational, self-mastering individuals allowed unrestricted liberty become irrational creatures enslaved by demons variously called excessive self-gratification or addiction. In this regard, it is interesting to note the longstanding etymological associations between addiction and the master-slave dynamic. As Marc Redfield and Janet Farrell Brodie explain:
   In Roman law the word addicere had the more prosaic job of
   signifying a giving or binding-over of something or someone by
   sentence of a court: the assignation of slave to master, debtor to
   creditor. That legal meaning gave rise to a now obsolete English
   verb, 'to addict', meaning 'to bind, attach, or devote oneself or
   another as a servant, disciple, or adherent, to some person or
   cause'; hence, of course, our modern use of 'addiction' to signify
   a compulsive attachment to a behavior, and in particular the need
   to ingest a drug. (9)


That the Gothic often plays out the aforementioned liberty-related issues by way of the figure of the libertine is fitting given the fact that the concepts 'liberty' and 'libertinism' were yoked in pre-Revolutionary France in the covert political philosophical treatises that masqueraded as pornography. (10) In Therese philosophe, perhaps the most famous of these works, the female libertine Therese, the mouthpiece for pro-Revolutionary sentiments, voices a woman's right to control her own body and pursue sexual pleasure. Thus is the libertine represented--in the manner that the Marquis de Sade has been frequently discussed--as an advocate for liberty in more general terms. (11) Such a promotion of rational, sexual self-control is, however, frequently undermined in the Gothic where the libertine, regardless of gender, is represented as a creature of uncontrollable excess devoid of moral restraint who enacts 'fantasised transcendences' and will stop at nothing in the pursuit of self-gratification. (12) As David Punter astutely notes, the Gothic is 'all about supersession, about the will to transcend, and about the fate of the body as we strive for a fantasy of total control, or better, total exemption from the rule of law'. (13) Ironically, and with generally tragic results, the dominating libertine's extreme liberties necessitate the denial of the will of their virtually enslaved victim. Thus are two essentially antithetical meanings of the word 'libertine' simultaneously conjured up in the power-obsessed Gothic: that from Roman antiquity--namely, 'a freedman; one manumitted from slavery'--and an individual unrestrained by moral law in his/her relations with the opposite sex. (14)

No branch of the Gothic, I would argue, more powerfully or creatively examines the complexities of the liberty question than that focusing on drug/alcohol addiction. This heretofore unidentified and unexplored branch of the Gothic seems to have developed out of such libertine-centred narratives as Matthew Lewis's The Monk (1795) and Charlotte Dacre's Zofloya or The Moor: A Romance of the Fifteenth Century (1806). Indeed, Gothic libertine-centred narratives and what I have classified as Gothic 'pharmographies'--writings chronicling the process of drug/alcohol seduction and addiction--share a significant point of origin in the Faust story as their protagonists, confronted with irresistible desire and unrestricted power, literally or figuratively transact a fatal exchange for the fulfillment of their obsessions. (15) The elixir vitae--the legendary, alchemical concoction said to provide those who ingest it with eternal life--was, notably, a 'drug' of sorts that was a vital ingredient in such early Faustian-based Gothic narratives as William Godwin's St Leon (1799). In keeping with Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, the eighteenth-century's most memorable libertine novel, drugs also played a role in The Monk and Zofloya where they are controlled by seductive, foreign-associated devils or devil-minions adept in the secret sciences and employed to enslave and violate an involuntary love object. In the nineteenth-century pharmographies that thereafter develop, drugs initially proffer the prospect of inner sublimity and transcendence but ultimately assume the role of a demonic, enslaving, always racialized and frequently gendered (female) love object, which is--at least initially--voluntarily consumed. (16) As J. Gerard Dollar notes about the Faustian motif in several late nineteenth-century drug narratives, the devil is ultimately and repeatedly revealed to lie within. (17) The devil's internalization within the Gothic notably coincided with that genre's shift from focusing on the external sublime to the internal uncanny--a shift that occurred between the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries. (18)

This development in Gothic fiction from drugs playing a cameo role to their assuming centre stage was, in part, attributable to the steadily increasing consumption of drugs by both writers and the population at large during this aptly described 'Age of Intoxication'. (19) Opium, the Victorian drug of choice, what Matthew Sweet cleverly and aptly describes as 'the opium of the people', headed up the list. (20) It was conservatively estimated in the mid-Victorian era that there were between 16,000 and 25,000 outlets selling opium. (21) The use of drugs throughout Europe was so prevalent, according to John Frederick Logan, that it would be 'virtually impossible to be sure that anyone living in nineteenth-century Europe had never taken an opiate'. (22) The concurrent social shift whereby drugs like opium fell from the status of curative to poison, medicine to menace throughout the course of the century--a shift contingent on both their perceived class associations and their purported use as either a sedative or a stimulant--is also reflected in Victorian Gothic pharmographies. (23) As Derrida has cogently illustrated, these antithetical associations--of remedy and poison--inhere in the cultural idea of the pharmakon in classical Western philosophy. In charting this pharmographic tradition through the nineteenth century in such works as Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821), Charles Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870), Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) and Marie Corelli's Wormwood: A Drama of Paris (1890), (24) I consider how and in what ways drugs and drug addiction--frequently conflated with alcohol and alcoholism (25)--were increasingly demonized in Victorian literature where they became the focus for various powerful anxieties. Virginia Berridge's and Griffith Edwards's claim that the scapegoating of drugs in the nineteenth century was a means of social control and the result of wider class-based problems which actually developed out of British industrialization, is also borne out in Victorian literature where drugs and alcohol function as a symbolic barometer of and/or scapegoat for various serious and entrenched social ills. (26) As Josephine McDonagh insightfully notes, 'Mystified and overdetermined in its meanings, there is a sense that debates about opium are always in fact about something else, for opium raises questions of representation'. (27) Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has observed, for example, that many novelists employed drugs as a symbolic scapegoat onto which were displaced such 'secret vices' as homosexuality. (28) Ongoing and heated debates throughout the Victorian period relating to the moral and biological/medical nature of drug addiction are also played out in Gothic pharmographies. These strike at the very heart of the Victorian conception of self-determination and the liberal subject and generate numerous associations with other 'conditions' which fascinated the Victorians such as poverty and prostitution. Questions of morality and will versus biological imperatives and socio-economic circumstances are central to fictional portraits of drug/alcohol addiction in the nineteenth century.

Perhaps the most significant component in the Victorian semiotics of addiction, however, involves the provenance of the addictive substance. Drugs particularly opium--were extremely 'racialized and racializing' throughout this era. (29) Their representation frequently raised the spectre of the 'Other', which entailed the dreaded suggestion of a national Faustian pact that was popularly thought to involve Britain's economic dependence on China. Ironically, in the case of opium, these claims were entirely ill-conceived and even ran contrary to historic fact. Although opium was popularly associated with China, until 'the 1870s, over 85 percent of the opium imported into Britain came from Turkey'. (30) Furthermore, if a costly 'addiction' actually existed that made Britain dependent on China, that 'addiction' was the consumption of tea. (31)

These realities aside, however, various cultural productions at the fin de siecle intimated that Sino-British trade would result in the Oriental invasion and colonization of Britain. (32) The popularly circulated image of the opium den, 'largely a creation of the 1870s and 1880s' (33) whose prevalence was often exaggerated, was especially charged with both Gothic and imperial associations. (34) According to Barry Milligan, Britons' wariness towards it was 'probably inseparable from simultaneous anxieties about the imperial process'. (35) The most ludicrous yet terrifying manifestation of this threat was a type of racial contagion whereby unwitting Britons could be physically transformed into Chinese. John Jasper's meditations upon awakening in an East End opium den operated by a haggard Englishwoman in Charles Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870), provides what is perhaps the most memorable literary example of such a fear. According to Jasper's observation, 'the woman has opium-smoked herself into a strange likeness of the Chinaman. His form of cheek, eye, and temple, and his colour, are repeated in her'. (36) Opium was thus regarded 'as a fluid medium for the transmission of foreignness'. (37) It thus fuelled a popular Gothic dread--namely, the prospect of the familiar British 'Brother' being converted into foreign, 'Oriental' 'Other'. Notably, these exaggerated Gothic imperial portraits were also on exhibit in such anti-opium tracts as The Celestial Empire (1863), where the anonymous author describes the drug fiend as a type of creature of the undead:
   in addition to the lank and shriveled limbs, besides the weak voice
   and sallow visage, has a fierce and foreboding expression, a
   hollow-eyed vacant solemnity, as though death had set a mark upon
   his victim, dooming him to an untimely grave. (38)


As Marie Corelli's Wormwood makes strikingly clear, a similar spectre was raised at century's end in relation to absinthe. Corelli's alarmist 'Introductory Note' to that novel identifies absinthe as the source of absinthe-mania or 'furia' (62), a French disease that she claims is rapidly spreading over the continent of Europe by way of such nefarious establishments as French cafes and restaurants. The preposterous suggestion is made that the consumption of absinthe will result in a person's conversion to French habits and ideas, vilified by Corelli and others of her day as decadent and immoral.

On the basis of their perceived effects and provenance, therefore, nineteenth-century Gothic pharmographies registered contemporary anxieties and desires. This literary sub-genre also articulated and coalesced several distinct debates of that era, which included the nature of the will and liberal individualism; social oppression and conformity; urban and national degeneration; and British imperialist expansion, which involved the perceived anxiety-inducing sense of Britain's growing economic dependence on the non-Western world. In their engagement with these various concerns, nineteenth-century Gothic pharmographies drew upon three specific novelistic sub-genres--the Oriental tale, the imperial Gothic, and the Urban Gothic. Although more exotic in its choice of setting, the Oriental tale emerged virtually concurrently with the Gothic novel, and shares its escapist and sensational flavour along with its focus on supernatural effects and events. (39) The imperial Gothic, first identified and defined by Patrick Brantlinger, explores and expresses national apprehensions about the degeneration of British institutions, the threat of going native, and the invasion of Britain by demonic colonial forces. (40) The Urban Gothic, first identified and defined by Kathleen Spencer in relation to Bram Stoker's Dracula, is set in an urban centre--usually London --and effectively brings the imperial Gothic's concerns to bear on urban issues. The preservation of boundaries, the preoccupation with degeneration, and the expulsion of foreign 'pollution' is, according to Spencer, at the Urban Gothic's core. (41) Both the imperial and the Urban Gothic, however, tap the terror associated with the elimination of boundaries between self and Other, native and foreigner, rural gentleman and urban working class, home and empire. In their adoption of various imperial and Urban Gothic conventions and preoccupations, therefore, Gothic pharmographies frequently fall into the category of what I have elsewhere described as Empire Gothic, and stage a truly unique invasion--usually of British consciousness. (42) In their pages, the Other (in his/her various manifestations --national, religious, ethnic, and otherwise) may be said to go within. (43) Such representations stage an ironic subversion of the standard theory explaining why Britons stationed in the empire initially turned to drugs--namely, as an escape from the horrors of imperialism. (44) With its figurative finger on the pulse of these putatively contradictory motivations, the Gothic pharmography relays the following terrifying dialectic: although ingested by the (usually) British addict -protagonist for liberating, escapist, and sometimes artistic purposes, drugs not only stymie those aims by enslaving the consumer, they force upon him/her often stark, realistic confrontations with such issues as the inescapability of death and decay, and the power dynamics of imperial exchange. The British consumption of Turkish opium furnishes a case in point. As Curtis Marez maintains, 'Opium ... thus encapsulated the conditions of a relatively new imperial geography in which the masters of European culture found themselves increasingly dependent upon the non-Western world for goods and labor'. (45) As I hope to illustrate further, absinthe likewise tapped concerns relating to the rapidly changing European balance of power at the fin de siecle. That these European and imperial geopolitical issues were extended to psychological terrain in the form of the addict's consciousness and experiences, registers a noteworthy development in the British Gothic literary tradition, especially in its treatment of the doppelganger. By way of this imagery, the addict-protagonist is rendered 'Other' to himself/herself in new, often racialized, class-inflected, and gendered ways that have a myriad of sometimes contradictory impulses and implications. As a concise examination of Gothic pharmographies illustrates, although drugs proffered a sublime transcendence of oppressive realities, their cultural representations are very firmly tethered to socio-historical realities.

Proto-pharmographies

Especially in terms of their semiotics and ideological nature, Gothic pharmographies borrow much from two significant proto-pharmographies: Matthew Lewis's The Monk (1795) and Charlotte Dacre's Zofloya, or the Moor (1806). While drugs play only a cameo role in both, they are inextricably bound up with foreignness, femaleness, and the secret sciences, and are vital to the action in these narratives chronicling love/lust mania. Indeed, the concept of 'mania'--a '[m]ental derangement characterized by great excitement, extravagant delusions and hallucinations and, in its acute stage, by great violence'--may be described as a central, highly suggestive link between the proto-pharmography and the pharmography in the Gothic tradition. (46) In contradistinction to Gothic pharmographies where drugs assume the central role as an addictive love object that is voluntarily consumed, however, Lewis's and Dacre's proto-pharmographies feature drugs that are always involuntarily consumed by unwilling victims for criminal purposes. While drugs are not the focal object of desire in proto-pharmographies, they constitute a crucial weapon in the seduction/violation of the love/lust objects with whom the maniacal protagonists are obsessed. Despite their indisputably diabolic provenance, therefore, drugs are nonetheless conduits to a divine experience in the form of consummation with the love object. In both instances, notably, this paradisal union proves to be but a temporary interlude on the slippery slope of an obsession that results in the protagonist's death. Tragically and ironically, the seemingly masterful yet obsessed persecutors who disarm the will of their victims are ultimately rendered and revealed to be utterly powerless and enslaved. Thus do Lewis and Dacre strategically manipulate and shed light on the complex dialectic of mastery and slavery in a genre said to be 'grounded on the terrain of hallucination' (47) that was itself regarded as a type of escapist opiate, 'a drug for harassed minds, a refuge for imaginations in flight from menacing reality'. (48)

De Quincey's Opium Empire

Although not a work of literature per se, Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821) marks the advent of the Gothic pharmography. Drugs move in Confessions from the narrative margins to the centre, thus assuming the status of the all-consuming love object. Indeed, Confessions may be described, at least in part, as a prose ode to opium. '[J]ust, subtle, and mighty opium' (49), as De Quincey praises it, is initially supplied to him in the autumn of 1804, by a Mephistophelean-style 'sublunary druggist' (28), an 'unconscious minister of celestial pleasures' (38), for the alleviation of a medical disorder. (49)

Although De Quincey does not foreground the chronology of events, his engagement with this love object commences subsequent to the tragic loss of another unlikely love object of a spiritual order--a street-walker named Ann whom he characterizes as his 'noble minded' (21), 'youthful benefactress' (23) because she saves his life during a health crisis. Set against the backdrop of the Urban Gothic environment of London with its dark alleys and labyrinthine streets, De Quincey's initial narcotic experiments reveal a potentially magnificent role for opium--namely, as a social panacea in the truest sense of the word. After committing what he describes as 'debauch[es] of opium' (44), De Quincey ecstatically merges with fashionable crowds in attendance at the opera or with crowds of poor people in the marketplaces of London. By way of the latter encounters, he becomes 'familiar with their wishes, their difficulties, and their opinions' (47). Thus are the streets of London radically transformed from a site of anonymous poverty and degradation to a familiar locale of social communion.

As De Quincey recounts in the most harrowing segment of his Confessions, however, these communal pleasures are dramatically altered after several years of opium consumption. The venue becomes his consciousness wherein he projects what can only be described as the 'subliminal sublime'. De Quincey's Confessions, therefore, evidences a theological shift whereby God is declared dead and the cosmic battle of good versus evil, which constitutes the plot in the proto-pharmography, is not only secularized but displaced. Opium, or what De Quincey significantly describes as the 'dark idol' that effectively replaces God, functions as a conduit to extreme mental experiences that range from the divine to the demonic. (50) In the words of De Quincey, 'the dread book of account, which the Scriptures speak of, is, in fact, the mind itself of each individual' (69). The visual arts are key to the rendering of De Quincey's Gothic 'mindscapes', a type of sublime phantasmagoria or 'theatre' (67-8) inspired by such artists as Henry Fuseli and Gianbattista Piranesi. Thus are drugs (the love object) and dreams inextricably connected in De Quincey's narrative. While dreams constitute a vital ingredient in the seduction and eventual destruction of both Ambrosio and Victoria by their Mephistophelean-style masters in their respective proto-pharmographies--Lewis's The Monk and Dacre's Zofloya, or the Moor--dreams also serve as the chief torment for the opium-eater.

The most potent and nightmarish visions (what he calls his 'Oriental dreams') are overtly racialized and attest to his most profound fears relating to his opium habit of psychic colonization, enslavement, and the loss of all agency. The implications and dangers of ascribing total agency to his drug--a symbolically loaded imperial object and 'the true hero of the tale' according to De Quincey (78)--are powerfully conveyed. His horrid 'Oriental' visions, which should really be called 'nightmares', raise the spectre of biological/social degeneration, emblematized by the Chinese--'antediluvian [men] renewed' (66) according to De Quincey--who have resisted interbreeding and with whom Britons experience an extreme 'want of sympathy' (73). These terrors are symbolically and sublimely manifested in scenes of live burial where the opium-eater envisions himself 'buried for a thousand years, in stone coffins, with mummies and sphinxes, in narrow chambers at the heart of eternal pyramids' (67). Among other images, Fuseli's 'The Nightmare' (1781) is rendered horrifyingly real as the opium-eater finds himself beneath 'the weight of incubus and nightmare' (67), his consciousness oppressed and figuratively reduced to the status of the 'slavish' Malay who visited him in England (56). In this instance, the British 'Brother' is horrifyingly converted to the status of Oriental 'Other'. Notably, De Quincey's earlier experience of paradisal urban communion is also demonically reconfigured in a haunting image depicting a sea of wretched human faces:
   To my architecture succeeded dreams of lakes [...] The waters now
   changed their character--from translucent lakes, shining like
   mirrors, they now became seas and oceans. And now came a tremendous
   change, which, unfolding itself slowly like a scroll, through many
   months, promised an abiding torment; and, in fact, it never left me
   until the winding up of my case. Hitherto the human face had mixed
   often in my dreams, but not despotically, nor with any special
   power of tormenting. But now that which I have called the tyranny
   of the human face began to unfold itself. Perhaps some part of my
   London life might be answerable for this. Be that as it may, now it
   was that upon the rocking waters of the ocean the human face began
   to appear: the sea appeared paved with innumerable faces, upturned
   to the heavens: faces, imploring, wrathful, despairing, surging
   upwards by thousands, by myriads, by generations, by centuries--my
   agitation was infinite,--my mind tossed--and surged with the ocean.
   (72)


In the final analysis, De Quincey's Confessions amount to a solipsistic account wherein the opium-eater wrestles, in a type of Gothic house of mirrors, with inner demons of British racist creation. In stark contradistinction to the opium-eater who maintains that he 'loses none of his moral sensibilities, or aspirations' but simply becomes incapable of acting upon them (67), Marie Corelli's fin-de-siecle novel Wormwood recounts an entirely different story wherein absinthe functions as a gateway to extreme moral depravity and even insanity.

Marie Corelli's Wormwood

With the publication of Marie Corelli's Wormwood: A Drama of Paris in 1890, the Gothic pharmography reaches its apogee. In the story of Gaston Beauvais' descent into absinthe addiction and various crimes of passion in fin-de-siecle Paris, Corelli not only exhibits her technical mastery but her consummate knowledge of both the Gothic tradition in general and the Gothic pharmography more specifically. What is so new and compelling in Wormwood is that Corelli takes us inside the 'drug-drinking' experience granting us access to the addict's consciousness. While nineteenth-century readers were offered a tantalizing taste of this perspective in sections of Thomas De Quincey's Confessions and at the opening of Charles Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870) in the form of John Jasper's opium-induced vision of a Turkish-inflected London, Corelli offers up a new narrative delicacy. By distilling her tale entirely through Beauvais' perspectival lens and the established genres of confessional narrative, Urban Gothic, sensation fiction, temperance novel, and roman feuilleton, she furnishes her readers with a sustained narrative drug trip. Like De Quincey, a self-styled 'hard student' of opium (44) who painstakingly compares the effects of his drug of choice to other available options (40-1), and Dr Jekyll--whose detailed 'Statement of the Case' reveals a student's fascination with the other, darker self who emerges after his drug-induced transformations--Beauvais assumes the role of pseudo-scientific self-experimenter. Locating the demons of addiction closer to home in this embarrassingly and offensively Francophobic tale, he declares absinthe to be the drug of choice for modern-day Parisians who wish to 'kill Conscience' (231) and embrace the mantra of self-gratification. He also, unfortunately, extends the tradition of the racist pharmography in such declarations as '[t]he habituated Chinese opium-eater ... gets no dreams out of his drug, his own mind being too slow and sluggish for the creation of any sort of vision' (231). A former feuilletonist, Beauvais unrepentantly, yet with intense sadistic pleasure and horror, engages in graphic self-dissection in print. To this end, Corelli features the site of the Paris Morgue and conceives of the singular and suitable trope of narrator as mortician who lays bare a degenerate national corpse. Articulating his position in typically harassing fashion, Beauvais taunts his readers:
   Dear people of Paris, you want Realism, do you not? Realism in art,
   realism in literature, realism in everything? You, Frenchmen and
   Frenchwomen, dancing on the edge of your own sepulcher--for the
   time is coming fast when France will no more be accounted a
   nation--you want to look at the loathsome worms and unsightly
   poisonous growths that attend your own decomposition and decay? You
   want life denuded of all poetical adornments that you may see it as
   it truly is? Well, so you shall as far as I am concerned! I will
   hide nothing from you! I will tear out the very fibres of my being
   and lay them on your modern dissecting-table; nay, I will even
   assist you in the probing-work of the mental scalpel. Like you, I
   hate all mysticism and sublime ideal things; we need them as
   little, or as much, as we need God! (74)


Contrary to Beauvais' articulated agenda, what he actually provides his readers --especially in his drug-drinking episodes--is a lurid yet poetic narrative that is ideologically loaded. In a brilliant act of narrative transvestitism in keeping with a novel featuring a memorable and haunting bal masque, Corelli assumes the guise of Beauvais and, somewhat paradoxically, pens a sensational roman feuilleton Beauvais' genre of choice--that evokes the horrors of alcohol addiction with the aim of deterring readers from the lifestyle. While Wormwood adheres, aesthetically, to this genre of 'industrial literature' that 'was despised for its crudeness and denounced for promoting imagination and emotion at the expense of reason and thought', however, it runs counter to that tradition--in the manner of a cautionary tale--by promoting morality and political conservatism. (51) Adhering to the feuilleton script, Gaston is equipped, as one critic appreciatively comments, with a great 'wealth of burning language' making Wormwood, according to another, 'the most consistently powerful piece of work Corelli has yet done'. (52)

If a spectral text may be said to haunt this dramatically intense and poetic production, it is De Quincey's Confessions. Corelli reconfigures many of its technical, thematic, and ideological ingredients with the aim of exposing and indicting what she regards as the immoral tendencies of a hyper-materialist, decadent, and godless age. Notably, the significant points of contact between Wormwood and Confessions were not lost on at least one reviewer who wrote, albeit problematically, that 'Miss Marie Corelli's latest work is not so much a novel as a psychological study, and might have been entitled "Confessions of an Absintheur"'. (53) Like De Quincey's work where the cityscape virtually becomes a character, Marie Corelli takes the Urban Gothic to greater heights. In imaginatively symbolic ways, Paris is used to convey actual growing fin-de-siecle fears relating to more densely populated and dangerous city environments, and as a reflection of Beauvais' haunted consciousness. Contrary to De Quincey's opium-induced experience of urban communion, Paris is consistently portrayed as a site of moral and physical degeneration, violence, and extreme alienation. Beauvais exults in the city's anonymity that offers a desired refuge for his excesses and criminality. Subsequent to one debauch of absinthe, for example, he evokes a Nordauesque nightmare of urban degeneration, saying:
   I flung myself into the midst of the gesticulating, gabbling vortex
   of people with a sense of pleasure at being surrounded by so much
   noise and movement,--here not a soul could know me,--here no
   unpleasant thought or fanciful impression would have time to write
   itself across my brain,--here it was better than being in a
   wilderness,--one could yell and scream and caper with the rest of
   one's fellow-apes and be as merry as one chose! (273; emphasis
   added)


Intriguingly, Corelli's Paris is paradoxically modern and archaic, a monstrous city that combines both past and present terrors. It is repeatedly mapped and troped by the Gothic, assuming the status of the traditional Gothic castle wherein the haunted protagonist (often a hero-villain, a monstrous gentleman-criminal) wrestles with various terrors in the form of his/her repressed emotions, and personal, familial, and even national history. Memento mori--'Remember that you must die'--the Gothic's driving mantra, designed to promote consideration of our spiritual selves, is especially resonant in Corelli's Paris, this oneiric 'City of the Dead' (344). In the process of chronicling what Beauvais describes as 'the terrific tragedy of modern life ... [in order to] shock [the] nerves [of his readers] ... [who] would rather not remember that [they] must die!' (271), Corelli grants powerful expression to what she regards as a hyper-materialist age that denies fundamental and vital spiritual realities. For her absinthe-addicted narrator and his compatriots, memento mori conjures up only the threat of physical finality. In a passage powerfully reminiscent of and possibly in tribute to De Quincey's horrid opium-induced vision of a sea of tortured human faces, Corelli exposes Beauvais' haunted and tormented consciousness:
   What am I doing here so late? Why am I not at home? Why do I stand
   alone on this bridge, gazing down into the cold sparkling water of
   the Seine?--water that, to my mind, resembles a glittering glass
   screen, through which I see faces peering up at me, white and
   aghast with a frozen wonder? How they stare, how they smile, all
   those drowned women and men! Some are beautiful, all are mournful.
   I am not sorry for them, no! but I am sure they must have died with
   half their griefs unspoken, to look so wildly even in death! Is it
   my fancy, or do they want something of me? I feel impelled towards
   them--they draw me downwards by a deadly fascination, I must go on,
   or else--(69)


Nothing appears to be sacred in this Drama of Paris. The private confessional and the Paris Morgue are reduced to the status of spectacle, their boundaries symbolically delimited or blurred as Beauvais openly flaunts and embraces his status as a pariah who carelessly exposes a woman's private sins to public view. Following numerous Victorian authors, Corelli employs the Morgue, a 'dismal dead-house' (259) and prime British tourist attraction, to suggest the French disrespect of the dead. Its rational and scientific aspect, coupled with its component of spectacle, link it to a terrifying revolution-related death instrument--namely the guillotine. Located on the Quai du Marche Neuf, the Paris Morgue was expanded to four times its original size in 1867 and transformed into 'a generic administrative building' with the Republican motto 'Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite' cresting its facade. (54) While Corelli makes no reference to this aspect of the remodeled Morgue, it both underscores the Memento mori notion of death as the ultimate leveler--class-wise and otherwise--and, in its suggestion that liberty is dead, undermines French Revolutionary ideals. This is in keeping with Corelli's sustained critique of French liberty as a sham in the late nineteenth century given its citizens' enslavement to the vice of absinthe consumption.

Such Republican connections are frequently foregrounded in Beauvais' Paris, which is also consistently mapped and troped by its revolutionary history. This haunted city seems historically stagnant due to an ongoing Terror. Beauvais, who lives with his Royalist father in Nevilly, in a 'large old quaint mansion, part of which had been standing at the time of the famous Reign of Terror' (87), effectively enacts his own modern-day terror against his Royalist fiancee Pauline and Sylvion Guidel, a 'forest philosopher' (97) a la Rousseau, who instigates a cataclysmic intellectual and emotional revolution in Beauvais' life that prompts his descent into absinthe addiction. Tragically and ironically, the absinthe that Andre Gessonex claims initially 'guillotines' sorrow (168) threatens subsequently to lead him to the guillotine if the priest to whom he confessed a murder breaks the silence of the confessional (350).

In her dramatic indictment of what she perceives as a hypocritical and decadent nation, Corelli suggests that all Parisian roads--imaginative and actual--lead to the Morgue. Absinthe functions as the preeminent emblem of and conduit to the Parisian decadence in which the depraved Beauvais revels. This 'elixir' (206) is fittingly offered up in a traditional Faustian seduction scene by a Mephistophelean and decadent artist, Gessonex, as both an agent of virility and an escape from the inherent falseness of women. Thus does Beauvais, paralleling De Quincey, move from a fleshly love object--a 'fairy dream' as Guidel describes Pauline (104)--to a feminized drug as love object in the form of the 'green fairy'. The trajectory of this latter relationship notably parallels that of Dr Jekyll with Mr Hyde as Beauvais chronicles a terrifying descent from love and liberation to animosity and enslavement. Ironically, this 'medicinal green' absinthe (165), initially heralded as 'a cure for all human ills' (167) and an 'anodyne of conscience', transmogrifies into an accursed tormentor of conscience and an 'incurable' addiction. In the novel's most richly imagistic moments, Beauvais' beloved femme fatale conducts him on a memento mori tour through the sublime realm of Symbolist phantasmagoria for which Felicien Rops and Franz von Stuck might have supplied the inspiration. These sequences are strongly reminiscent of De Quincey's painterly realms of consciousness as inspired by Fuseli and Piranesi.

What commences as a blissful, figurative marriage and sexual consummation (217) soon leads to shocking experiences of self-horror, self-division (206), and self-revelation. During such horrid encounters with a drowned Pauline, Beauvais' unconscious revengeful fantasies assume figurative flesh in a manner parallel to John Jasper's opium trips in Dickens's Drood. Unlike Jasper, however, Beauvais experiences the horrifying revelation that while '[his] glorious Absinthe-fairy' may assume 'different shapes, [and be] arrayed in different hues, ... [she is] always recognizable as a part of [himself]' (207). This femme fatale is but a mirror of this Dorian Gray-style homme fatal, contact with whom is fatal. Beauvais shares more with Dorian, however, than just the birth date of 1890 or his position as homme fatal. In keeping with Sedgwick's observation that novelists frequently employ drugs as a scapegoat onto which are displaced such 'secret vices' as homosexuality, Beauvais' undisguised misogyny is combined with his barely repressed homosexuality. His detailed descriptions of Sylvion Guidel are suffused with the rhetoric of addiction. During their initial encounter, Beauvais openly relates that Guidel is too handsome for a man and should have been a woman (113), and that he is attracted to him 'against [his] will' (100). Perhaps most intriguing, however, is Beauvais' description of Guidel as being as 'beautiful as Antinous, brilliant, witty, amorous' (265), a reference earlier employed by Pauline's cousin Heloise in relation to Guidel (97). Antinous was not only the favourite of the Emperor Hadrian, he became his lover and, in a manner similar to Guidel's demise, he drowned mysteriously in the river Nile in early adulthood.

While drugs in the Gothic pharmography are employed as an innovative means of opening up otherwise unexplored aspects of character and national identity, the author's own closeted self is frequently exposed. Deep-seated national anxieties reside at the core of Corelli's outrageous Francophobia in Wormwood. Beauvais' Paris functions as a veiled London. As one contemporary reviewer in The Athenaeum astutely noted, 'Another might have taken London for a background and alcohol for the curse, and might have drawn an equally lurid and ghastly picture'. (55) The consumption of laudanum--the English equivalent of the French drug-drinking phenomenon featured in Wormwood--remained extremely popular through to the fin de siecle despite restrictions on its accessibility after the Pharmacy Act (1868). In another significant moment of projection relating to increasing urban terror, Beauvais deems the French 'human wolves' capable not only of outraging women but of murdering and mutilating them afterwards (271). One would be hard pressed to pen a better thumbnail sketch of the Whitechapel murders. That said, however, Gaston Beauvais' phantasmagoric visions are the fantasia of a misogynist culture confronting the New Woman in combination with a crisis in masculinity. This fantasia is characterized, at its best, by Symbolist paintings of bestial, emasculating femmes fatales and, at its worst, by the Jack the Ripper murders.

Perhaps the greatest irony in Corelli's pharmography involves the yoked questions of patriotism and war. Set subsequent to the French defeat in the FrancoPrussian war and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine, Wormwood is punctuated with comments about Beauvais' preference for drinking absinthe over fighting for La Patrie (284). After all, La Patrie has proven to be extremely hypocritical, he says, in relation to Germany:
   one week, she shrieks out, 'Alsace Lorraine! En revanche!'--the
   next she talks calmly through her printing-presses of making
   friends with Germany, and even condescends to flatter the new
   German Emperor! (284)


Absinthe, Beauvais' drug of choice, was, ironically, introduced to the French during the Algerian War of the 1840s where it was given to soldiers as a fever preventative. Indeed, drugs and warfare tended to go hand-in-hand on both sides of the Atlantic in the nineteenth century, morphine, for example, being the pharmaceutical of choice for former soldiers of the American Civil War. In Corelli's Wormwood, perhaps the very first novelistic war on drugs, the battlefield shifts to the urban environment of Paris, which is experiencing 'the conqueror's tread' according to Beauvais (366). Absinthe addiction is, he adds, threatening to become a deadly transnational phenomenon--the 'whole wide earth [fast becoming] ... a mere Grave to bury nations in' (74).

A tragic irony distinctly emerges when one considers this alarmist and propagandistic narrative war on drugs in retrospect. In a climate of intensifying European jingoistic nationalism and imperial anxiety, Corelli pens an eerily prophetic passage. After Beauvais consumes absinthe for the first time, he has an astral-travelling experience where he describes the following:
   Here, for instance, was a field of scarlet poppies,--I walked
   knee-deep among them, inhaling the strong opium-odour of their
   fragile leaves,--they blazed vividly against the sky, and nodded
   drowsily to and fro in the languid wind. And between their
   brilliant clusters lay the dead!--bodies of men with ghastly wounds
   in their hearts, and fragments of swords and guns in their
   stiffening hands, while round about them were strewn torn flags and
   broken spears. A battle has been lately fought, I mused as I
   passed,--this is what some folks call the 'field of honour', and
   Might has gotten the victory over Right, as it ever does and as it
   ever will! And the poppies wave, and the birds sing,--and the men
   who have given their lives for truth and loyalty's sake lie here to
   fester in the earth, forgotten,--and so the world wags on from day
   to day and hour to hour, and yet people prate of a God of Justice!
   (173)


In the light of the terrible battle in Flanders Fields in May of 1915 that this passage uncannily presages, and the unprecedented devastations of World War I that mobilized 65 million young men and killed more than eight and a half million of them, absinthe addiction seems but a minor national concern. Jingoistic nationalism was far more deadly, lending Beauvais' cynicism in this passage much greater resonance. In the final analysis, Corelli misidentifies the nature and source of the imminent drug-related national catastrophe that she uncannily prophesies. Given that morphine was frequently used to euthanise badly wounded soldiers throughout the war, drug-related deaths were more likely to result from their involuntary consumption on a foreign battlefield than their voluntary consumption on an urban street. Tragically, either road--figuratively, at least--led to the morgue.

Carol Margaret Davison University of Windsor

Notes

(1) Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 4. Subsequent references are to this edition. Page numbers will be given in parentheses in the body of the text.

(2) Robert Miles, Review of Gothic, by Fred Botting, Gothic Studies, 1 (1999): 119-20, at p. 119.

(3) Toni Wein, British Identities, Heroic Nationalisms, and the Gothic Novel, 1764-1824 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), p. 4.

(4) Maggie Kilgour, The Rise of the Gothic Novel (London: Routledge, 1995), pp. 10-11. Miles also describes it as enacting 'a monstrous dramatisation of its [modernity's] conflicts' (Miles, 'Review', p. 119). E. J. Clery upholds this reading in her description of the Gothic as both 'a symptom and reflection on the modern': The Rise of Supernatural Fiction 1762-1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 9.

(5) Michael Sadleir notes, for example, that the Gothic movement was 'in origin at least, a movement toward freedom and away from the controls of discipline': Things Past (London: Constable, 1944), p.176.

(6) Tamar Heller, Dead Secrets: Wilkie Collins and the Female Gothic (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1992), p. 36.

(7) Kilgour, The Rise of the Gothic Novel, p. 11.

(8) Ibid., p. 11.

(9) Marc Redfield and Janet Farrell Brodie, High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2002), p. 2.

(10) Robert Darnton, The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (New York and London: Norton, 1996), p. 21.

(11) See, for example, Angela Carter's remarks that Sade 'was unusual in his period for claiming rights of free sexuality for women, and in installing women as beings of power in his imaginary worlds': The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978), p. 36.

(12) David Punter, Gothic Pathologies: The Text, the Body and the Law (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998), p. 10.

(13) Ibid., p. 17.

(14) The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary [1971] (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 2 vols, Vol. I, p. 1613.

(15) J. Gerard Dollar has insightfully characterized 'the late Victorian psychodrama of addiction' as involving a 'fall into the addict self ... [that resembles] something of a pact with the devil' (270), but he neither considers the provenance of this motif nor the part played by works from earlier in the century, such as Thomas De Quincey's Confessions, in its establishment: 'Addiction and the "Other Self' in Three Late Victorian Novels' in Sue Vice, Matthew Campbell and Tim Armstrong, (eds), Beyond the Pleasure Dome: Writing and Addiction from the Romantics (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), pp. 268-74.

(16) The power of this enslavement motif in relation to drug addiction is reflected in the culture at large, especially the literature of anti-drug campaigns, over the last two centuries. After reading De Quincey's Confessions, Thomas Carlyle described laudanum in a private letter as the 'devil's own drug': Richard D. Jackson, 'The Devil, the Doppelganger, and the Confessions of James Hogg and Thomas De Quincey', Studies in Hogg and his World, 12 (2001): 90-103, p. 90. Lawrence Driscoll, for example, relates how many anti-drug leaflets suggest 'that drugs are like a 'parasite' (or demonic possession) that desperately and actively wants to stay in the body and damage its 'host': Reconsidering Drugs: Mapping Victorian and Modern Drug Discourses (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 16. According to Barnaby Conrad III, when absinthe was banned in the United States in 1912, Mr Wiley ofthe US Pure Food Board declared, 'if we can keep the people of the United States from being slaves to this demon, we will do it': Absinthe: History in a Bottle (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1988), p. 5. The Parisian author and playwright, Henri Balesta, who wrote Absinthe et Absintheurs in 1860, similarly characterizes absinthe-mania as involving the poor addict who 'giving himself up, [is] bound hand and foot, to the demons who tempt him' (quoted in ibid., p. 22). Thus, an intriguing interfacing is in evidence for while alcohol and drug addiction were demonized in the nineteenth-century Gothic, Gothic rhetoric simultaneously pervaded discussions of alcoholism and drug addiction.

(17) Dollar, 'Addiction and the "Other Self", p. 270.

(18) Fred Botting, Gothic (London and New York: Routledge, 1996), p. 11.

(19) This is the formulation of John Frederick Logan who argues, 'Historians have described nineteenth-century Europe in a variety of ways: it was the age of industrialism, colonialism, nationalism, liberalism, and the triumphing bourgeoisie. Yet this period might also be called the age of intoxication': John Frederick Logan, 'The Age of Intoxication'. Yale French Studies, 50 (1974): 81-94, at p. 92.

(20) Marek Kohn, Narcomania: On Heroin (London: Faber and Faber, 1987), p. 47; Matthew Sweet, Inventing the Victorians (London: Faber and Faber, 2001), p. 97.

(21) Geoffrey Harding, Opiate Addiction, Morality and Medicine: From Moral Illness to Pathological Disease (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988), p. 8.

(22) Logan, 'The Age of Intoxication', p. 90.

(23) Driscoll, Reconsidering Drugs, p. 13, Harding, Opiate Addiction, Morality and Medicine, p. 12.

(24) Due to space restrictions, my references to Charles Dickens's The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870) and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), are extremely tangential. Other Gothic pharmographies that I do not consider here include Arthur Conan Doyle's The Sign of Four (1890) and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891). I am currently at work, however, on a full-length study of the pharmography as it is variously manifested in British literature throughout the nineteenth century.

(25) In terms of the connection between alcohol and opium, it is important to note that the commonest form of opium was laudanum, otherwise known as 'tincture of opium, which was mixed with distilled water or various forms of alcohol': Paul Johnson, The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 (London: Phoenix, 1991), p. 761. According to Alethea Hayter, 'Everybody kept laudanum in the house and used in on occasion for minor ailments and aches': '"The Laudanum Bottle Loomed Large": Opium in the English Literary World in the Nineteenth Century', Ariel, 11 (1980): 37-51, at p. 38. Virginia Berridge and Griffith Edwards, note that this alcohol-opium connection 'owed much to historic precedent, for in medical and social terms the two had long been linked. But the linking of opium with alcohol in the supposedly scientific concept of 'inebriety' meant that the drug, as much as alcohol, was viewed very much in the context of the temperance views which informed the work of medical men in this field' Opium and the People: Opiate Use in Nineteenth-Century England (London and New York: Allen Lane/St. Martin's Press, 1981), p. 154. In the works by Robert Louis Stevenson and Corelli examined here, the boundary between alcohol and drugs is frequently blurred. In Stevenson's novella, 'the potion' that Dr Jekyll drinks in the form of 'a blood-red liquor' is interchangeably described in relation to alcohol and drugs: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 62, 55. This 'drug' (ibid, p. 44) is 'wanted bitter bad' by the upstanding Doctor (ibid., p. 45). Similarly, Corelli prefaces Wormwood with reference to the habit of the 'French drug-drinking' of absinthe which threatens to infect Britain: Wormwood: A Drama of Paris, ed. Kirsten MacLeod. (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2004),p. viii, emphasis added. Subsequent references to Wormwood are taken from this edition. References will be given in parentheses in the text.

(26) Berridge and Edwards, Opium and the People, p. xxviii.

(27) Josephine McDonagh, 'Opium and the Imperial Imagination', in Philip W. Martin and Robin Jarvis, (eds), Reviewing Romanticism (New York: St Martin's Press, 1992), pp. 116-33, at p. 120.

(28) Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), p. 188.

(29) Curtis Marez, 'The Other Addict: Reflections on Colonialism and Oscar Wilde's Opium Smoke Screen', ELH, 64 (1997): 257-87, at p. 257.

(30) Terry Parssinen, Secret Passions, Secret Remedies: Narcotic Drugs in British Society, 1820-1930 (Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues, 1983), p. 14.

(31) In the first decade of the nineteenth century, 'the Chinese had an export surplus [...] of $26 million, an enormous imbalance for the times' given its trade in tea with the British (Johnson, The Birth of the Modern, p. 775). The extent of this dependence was perhaps best conveyed by a contemporary expert on the Orient who claimed in the 1790s that 'over 3 million Chinese were employed growing the tea the British consumed' (ibid., p. 774). Indeed, it was opium, which became 'the world's most valuable single-commodity trade' in the early nineteenth century (ibid., p. 776), that soon shifted the balance of power making the Chinese economically dependent on the British. By the late 1820s, and early 1830s, China's surplus in its trade with Britain turned--as a result of China's opium dependence--into a deficit to the tune of $38 million (ibid., p. 776). The importance of this drug in the British trade arsenal is especially attested to by the Opium Wars of 1838-42 and 1856-60 when, after the Chinese actively attempted to strengthen the ban on the importation of opium, the British responded with extreme aggression.

(32) Kohn, Narcomania, p. 12.

(33) Mike Jay, Emperors of Dreams: Drugs in the Nineteenth Century (Sawtry, Cambridgeshire: Dedalus, 2000), p. 81.

(34) Sweet, Inventing the Victorians, pp. 93-4.

(35) Barry Milligan, 'Opium Smoking and the Oriental Infection of British Identity', in Sue Vice, Matthew Campbell, and Tim Armstrong, (eds), Beyond the Pleasure Dome: Writing and Addiction from the Romantics (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), pp. 93-100, at p. 99.

(36) Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 2.

(37) Kohn, Narcomania, p. 12.

(38) Quoted in Sweet, Reinventing the Victorians, p. 100.

(39) The advent of the Oriental tale occurs in the mid-eighteenth century after the tremendous popularity of The Arabian Nights, which had been translated from a French version in 1705-8. Samuel Johnson's History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (1759) is generally considered to be the best mid-century example of the Oriental tale.

(40) Patrick Brantlinger, Rule of Darkness: British Literature and Imperialism, 1830-1914 (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1988), p. 230.

(41) Kathleen Spencer, 'Purity and Danger: Dracula, the Urban Gothic, and the Late Victorian Degeneracy Crisis', ELH, 59 (1992): 197-225, at pp. 203, 201.

(42) As I have defined it in 'Burning Down the Master's (Prison)-house: Revolution and Revelation in Colonial and Postcolonial Female Gothic' (2003), the Empire Gothic foregrounds the interconnectedness between home and empire in British literature. Ingested into the Western, British body, drugs create a site of consciousness that functions as a type of fertile 'contact zone' (6) between home and empire where, to borrow from Mary Louise Pratt's work on imperial travel writing, 'disparate cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in highly assymetrical relations of domination and subordination' (4). For more on the Empire Gothic and the idea of the contact zone, see my essay, 'Burning Down the Master's (Prison)-house: Revolution and Revelation in Colonial and Postcolonial Female Gothic', in Andrew Smith and William Hughes, (eds), Empire and the Gothic: The Politics of Genre (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2003), pp. 136-54.

(43) Marek Kohn makes this suggestion in the third chapter of his compelling book Narcomania. Entitled 'The Orient Within, ' this chapter focuses on opium's oriental associations in the works of such authors as Coleridge and De Quincey.

(44) Johnson, The Birth of the Modern, p. 765. As Johnson relates, 'Forms of opium, often in large quantities, were taken to alleviate the many horrors of India, and Englishmen who went there frequently came back addicts, usually mild, sometimes serious, ones. That had been the tragedy of Robert Clive, who died in a fit after doubling his customary dose' (p. 765).

(45) Marez, 'The Other Addict', p. 276.

(46) Compact OED, Vol. I, p. 1715.

(47) David Punter, and Glennis Byron, The Gothic (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), p. 253.

(48) Sadleir, Things Past, p. 175.

(49) The exact nature of this disorder is never entirely clear. At one point, he says it was prescribed to remedy a stomach ailment (6) and in another instance, he cites a rheumatic disorder (37).

(50) Thomas De Quincey, Suspina de Profundis, Being A Sequel to the Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. De Quincey's Works. 16 vols. Eds Adam and Charles Black (Edinburgh, 1874), vol. 16, pp. 1-49, p. 5.

(51) David Coward, A History of French Literature: From Chanson De Geste to Cinema (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), p. 289

(52) J. Barrow Allen in The Academy (29 November 1890): 500-1, quoted in Corelli, Wormwood, p. 379; Kent Carr, Miss Marie Corelli (London: Henry J. Drane, 1901), pp. 109-110, quoted in ibid., p. 383.

(53) Reprinted in Corelli, Wormwood, p. 379.

(54) Vanessa R. Schwartz, Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siecle Paris (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), p. 57.

(55) Reprinted in Corelli, Wormwood, p. 661.
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