Friday, 2 December 2016

The Lure Of Laudanum, The Victorians' Favorite Drug

image credit: Mike Mozart

Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's most famous poem, 'Kubla Khan,' was written after an intense laudanum-induced dream; Lord Byron's daughter, the celebrated mathematician Ada Lovelace, claimed laudanum calmed her overactive mind.

Laudanum is a tincture of opium containing approximately 10% powdered opium by weight (the equivalent of 1% morphine). The fact that many writers and artists of the Victorian period used laudanum is clear - but what was it about laudanum that ensnared so many creative people?

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