James Nicholls / “Ungovernable Passions: Intoxication and Romanticism” / The Politics of Alcohol / 2009

Charles Lamb

When the terms of transcendence are suspect, and the opportunities for the display of brilliance are tightly circumscribed, suffering, as Ray Porter puts it, “might purchase the privilege of being different.” Romanticism, a generation obsessed with the limits of experience. Drinker’s literary confession genre emerged. Previously, habitual drinker defined from outside. Now, speak for themselves. Charles Lamb, very early temperance literature. Confessions of a Drunkard, 1833.

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