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Despite being born into a wealthy family, Thomas De Quincey had a difficult childhood. He was forced to move quite often, and his father passed away when he was only eight years old. He attended several prestigious schools before running away when he was seventeen, returning home several months later. De Quincy studied at Oxford University for a short while, but he soon became addicted to opium, and dropped out in 1807; he would suffer from this addiction for the rest of his life. In 1821, De Quincey s struggles inspired him to write Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, which was published in London Magazine and served as a professional breakthrough for him. After his wife passed away in 1837, De Quincey s addiction became dramatically worse and his finances suffered as a result. He managed to write several more books, including a second memoir, Suspiria de Profundis, before passing away in 1859.
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