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Thomas De Quincey collection

Call Number: MS P91


Collection of letters from various sources written by Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) or daughter Florence (De Quincey) Smith.


  • 1838-1854, undated


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859)

Thomas De Quincey was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England, running away from his family at the age of 17 to first Wales and then London. After reconciling with his family in 1803, he entered Worcester College, Oxford. In 1804 he took his first dose of opium to relieve pain, and by 1813 he was an opium addict.

De Quincey was an early admirer of Lyrical Ballads and became friends with its authors, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. While De Quincey wrote voluminously, including essays on biography, history, economics, and German metaphysics, he was not widely published. His best known work continues to be Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821).

De Quincey married Margaret Simpson in 1817. The couple had 8 children before her death in 1837.

[Information retrieved from Encyclopedia Britannica, "Thomas De Quincey,"]


3 folders

Physical Location

MS P91

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Items in folder 1: gift, William P. Albrecht, 1971. Folder 2: Purchase, Benjamin's Collector no. 755 (1956?). Folder 3: unknown, but numbered 331 in fuchsia and 83 in pencil.

Guide to the Thomas De Quincey Collection
Thomas De Quincey collection
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1990. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Thomas De Quincey collection, MS P90, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States