Tuesday, October 02, 2012

News at Eleven: And every doctor--even [John] Keats himself,

who had medical training--advised the use of laudanum, a tincture of opium in alcohol. Keats had given it to his brother Tom in late 1818 to ease his pain and suppress his tubercular cough when he was dying, and Keats had used it to help himself sleep during that terrible time. For someone as ill as Keats would be, it was a palliative, not a hallucinogen. That he used it makes no difference at all to our estimate of the man or his poems.

from The New York Times: Can Opium or Illness Explain a Keats Poem?


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