A Portrait of the Heavenly Demon

Book - 2004
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An exquisitely illustrated and fascinating short history of opium culture.

"Opium" will open people's eyes to the bizarre and shocking history of a drug that began with use in religious ceremonies, then raised high hopes as a cure for many ills in Victorian times and was regarded as an embodiment of the romantic East, leading to its horrific consequences today.

In her meticulously researched text, Barbara Hodgson delves into the nature and history of opium, focusing on its exotic incarnation as a drug to be smoked. As well as examining its factual history--in memoirs, science, and travel books--she explores portrayals of opium use in fiction and film.

The book captures the heady essence of the opium era and is packed with illustrations that trace the changing image of the drug: artifacts and apparatus of opium use; illustrations of opium dens in Hong Kong, New York, San Francisco, Toulon, and Canton; portraits of drug-taking writers; lurid covers of nineteenth-century illustrated newspapers and twentieth-century pulp-fiction drug titles; and stills from drug-related films.

Text and images in this beautifully designed book perfectly evoke the insiduous allure and devastating dangers of opium smoking.
Publisher: Vancouver, B.C. : GreyStone Books, 2004.
ISBN: 9781553650584
Branch Call Number: 362.293 HOD
Characteristics: 152 p. : ill. (some col.) 19 cm.


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