I signed a contract with Library Journal (a biggie in my profession) to review books for them. Since I hadn’t heard anything at all, even after bugging them a couple of times, I figured things had gone kaput.
But not so! I finally received my first book two weeks ago. It’s a literary bio of the Victorian writer Thomas De Quincey (Confessions of an English Opium Eater).
I’m including it here, and if you see any glaring mistakes I missed (never mind the details of the author/book, etc.) please let me know. I’m just looking for awkward construction, etc. I was given the formula, and included all the required elements, but I like another set of eyes to look it over.
At least it’s short!
Robert Morrison, scholar of Romantic and Victorian literature, was editor of De Quincey’s essays “On Murder,” and co-editor of the Routledge essays on De Quincey. In The English Opium Eater, the first biography of De Quincey in thirty years, Morrison makes use of material previously unavailable, ensuring an up to date, complete work of scholarship. An autodidact, De Quincey (1785-1859) was passionate about learning from childhood, preferring reading and study to play. His addictive personality was his most defining character trait, manifesting itself in: a virtually parasitic relationship with poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, compulsive book buying, the constant shadow of debt, and a lifetime spent battling alcoholism. Most notorious was his experience with opium addiction, culminating in the writing of his major work, the memoir Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821). Shocking to its Victorian audience for its devastating account of addiction to this commonly used 19th century medication, it became wildly popular for its tell-all approach to autobiography. Readers found such openness titillating, requiring the publisher to print edition after edition in order to keep up with demand. Author Robert Morrison’s treatment of his subject is comprehensive in its open presentation of unflattering details of his subject’s life, while at the same time emphasizing the tremendous impact Thomas De Quincey had on the birth of the mass market in Britain. VERDICT Recommended for collections with a comprehensive collection of Victorian literature.
Thanks, if you can help!