Thomas De Quincey
Thomas De Quincey was born in Manchester in 1785. Highly intelligent but with a rebellious spirit, he was offered a place at Oxford University while still a student at Manchester Grammar School. But unwilling to complete his studies, he ran away and lived on the streets, first in Wales and then in London. Eventually he returned home and took up his place at Oxford, but quit before completing his degree. A friend of Coleridge and Wordsworth, he eventually settled in Grasmere in the Lake District and worked as a journalist. He first wrote about his opium experiences in essays for The London Magazine, and these were printed in book form in 1822. De Quincey died in 1859.