Substance Abuse Six Pack 3

Substance Abuse Six Pack 3

by Théophile GautierRobert Louis Stevenson and Jack London
Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
Publication Date: 17/08/2015

Substance Abuse Six Pack 3 presents another sextet of classic vice-related works:

  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

  • John Barleycorn by Jack London

  • Charles Baudelaire - His Life by Théophile Gautier  

  • Ode On Indolence by John Keats 

  • Habits That Handicap - The Menace of Opium, Alcohol, and Tobacco, and the Remedy by Charles B. Towns  

  • A Farewell to Tobacco by Charles Lamb

While not overtly about drug use, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) was written during a six-day cocaine binge and is the story of a man who ingests something and turns into a monster – an only slightly exaggerated version of what heavy cocaine consumption can do.  Author Robert Louis Stevenson’s drug use has been well documented. Of the cocaine-fueled writing binge that produced Jekyll and Hyde, perhaps Stevenson’s greatest work and a classic of the horror genre, Stevenson’s wife Fanny said: 'That an invalid in my husband's condition of health should have been able to perform the manual labour alone of putting 60,000 words on paper in six days, seems almost incredible.'

Charles Baudelaire, the subject of Charles Baudelaire - His Life by Théophile Gautier once wrote, "You have to be always drunk. That's all there is to it." Baudelaire also struggled with opium.

Another literary giant hooked on the drug was John Keats, author of Ode on Indolence, first published in the spring of 1819. This was the peak of Keats’ drug addiction, when he was experiencing “opiate reveries” like the ones described by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (See the first Substance Abuse Six Pack). Ode to Indolence, composed during this time, is considered to be a radical departure from his earlier poems.

Jack London, the author of John Barleycorn, died at the age of forty. In this autobiographical work, London describes his life as seen through the eyes of alcohol, personified in the eponymous character. With remarkable candor and insight, London describes the demons and gods he encounters through both friend and enemy, John Barleycorn.

In addition to these four classics, there is also a sophisticated Edwardian narcotics study - Habits That Handicap - The Menace of Opium, Alcohol, and Tobacco, and the Remedy by Charles B. Towns – and A Farewell to Tobacco by Charles Lamb, a witty divertissement by the celebrated author of Tales From Shakespeare.  

Biography: literary
Epub (Kobo), Epub (Adobe)
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Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied law but preferred writing and in 1881 was inspired by his stepson to write Treasure Island.

Other famous adventure stories followed including Kidnapped, as well as the famous collection of poems for children, A Child's Garden of Verses. Robert Louis Stevenson is buried on the island of Samoa.

Jack London

Jack London (1876 - 1916), lived a life rather like one of his adventure stories. He was born John Chaney, the son of a travelling Irish-American fortune-teller and Flora Wellman, the outcast of a rich family. By the time Jack was a year old, Flora had married a grocer called John London and settled into a life of poverty in Pennsylvania. As Jack grew up he managed to escape from his grim surroundings into books borrowed from the local library - his reading was guided by the librarian.

At fifteen Jack left home and travelled around North America as a tramp - he was once sent to prison for thirty days on a charge of vagrancy. At nineteen he could drink and curse as well as any boatman in California! He never lost his love of reading and even returned to education and gained entry into the University of California. He soon moved on and in 1896 joined the gold rush to the Klondyke in north-west Canada. He returned without gold but with a story in his head that became a huge best-seller - The Call of the Wild - and by 1913 he was the highest -paid and most widely read writer in the world. He spent all his money on his friends, on drink and on building himself a castle-like house which was destroyed by fire before it was finished. Financial difficulties led to more pressure than he could cope with and in 1916, at the age of forty, Jack London committed suicide.

Titles such as The Call of the Wild, The Sea-Wolf and White Fang continue to excite readers today.

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