Wilkie Collins
(1824 - 1889)

image of Wilkie Collins
"Laudanum - divine laudanum - was his only friend"

"who was the man who invented laudenaum ? I thank him from the bottom of my heart. whoever he was .... I have had six delicious hiours of oblivion ; I have woek up with myu mind comoposed ; O have written s perfect little letter ; I have drunk my cup of tea with a real relish of it ; and I have dawdles over my morning toilet with an excquiste sense of relief -- and all trhough the modest little bottle of drops which I see on my bedroom chimney-piece at the moment. Drops, you are a darling ! If I love nothing else, I love you !"
Wilkie Collins (1824 - 1889)
Note made on a spring morning (1864)

Wilkie Collins had a prodigious opium habit. He is famous for writing one of the first detective-novels in British fiction, The Moonstone (1868). Opium is central to the plot. The moonstone of the title is a sacred Hindu diamond "‘growing and lessening in lustre with the waxing and waning of the moon". The gem is stolen by a laudanum-intoxicated thief who later remembers nothing of the crime.

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