In the Arms of Morpheus

The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine and Patent Medicines

Barbara Hodgson

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Naturwissenschaften, Medizin, Informatik, Technik / Allgemeines

Beschreibung

In the Arms of Morpheus is the shocking story of how a simple but bewitching substance touted as a miracle drug enslaved unwitting generations of nineteenth-century writers, artists and ordinary citizens. Extracted from opium, the sap of the poppy, this popular drug was welcomed into the homes of rich and poor alike under the guise of medical use in the form of laudanum and patent medicines, and as pure, undisguised morphine. In the Arms of Morpheus examines how opium eatingthe drinking of laudanum for medical reasonsbecame, in the nineteenth century, an everyday safeguard against pain, poverty and boredom. Opium tonics relieved symptoms but did not cure. Instead, they made fortunes for numberless charlatans, especially in the United States, where patent medicine sales mushroomed. Thoroughly researched and copiously illustrated with photographs, engravings, advertisements, movie stills, pulp magazine and dime novel covers and paraphernalia, In the Arms of Morpheus continues the history of opiums emergence as an omnipresent and sometimes devastating influence. Its an eye-opening account that is fascinating and uncomfortably close to home.

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