News: Daily Register

The Daily News Register

The Daily Register offers citations of recent publications and news
related to the history of alcohol and drugs.



Existential drinker (book)

Steven Earnshaw, The Existential Drinker(Manchester University Press, forthcoming 18 October 2018).

Drinking to excess has been a striking problem for industrial and post-industrial societies – who is responsible when an individual opts for a slow suicide? The causes of such drinking have often been blamed on genes, moral weakness, ‘disease’ (addiction), hedonism, and Romantic illusion. Yet there is another reason: the drinker may act with sincere philosophical intent, exploring the edges of self, consciousness, will, ethics, authenticity and finitude. Beginning with Jack London’s John Barleycorn: alcoholic memoirs the book goes on to cover novels such as Jean Rhys’s Good morning, midnight, Malcolm Lowry’s Under the volcano, Charles Jackson’s The lost weekend and John O’Brien’s Leaving Las Vegas, and less familiar works such as Frederick Exley’s A fan’s notes, Venedikt Yerofeev’s Moscow-Petushki, and A. L. Kennedy’s Paradise. —

Among Earnshaw’s other publications is The Pub in Literature: England’s Altered State (Manchester University Press, 2000).


Substance abuse and misuse in the long nineteenth century (Edge Hill University): program

 Conference organizers: Dr Laura Eastlake, Dr Andrew McInnes


Thursday 13th September

9.30 – 10 am: Registration, including breakfast pastries

10 – 11 am Keynote 1: Noelle Plack, Newman University

11-11.15am: Comfort Break

11.15 am – 12.30 pm: Panel 1 – Alcohol, the Family, and Respectability

– Ann-Marie Richardson, University of Liverpool, “Intellectual Rags and Patches”: How Branwell Brontë’s addiction manifests in his sister Charlotte’s novel Shirley(1849)

– Daniel Jenkin-Smith, Aston University ‘A rogue; despite his high office’ – The Abuses of Liquor and Liquidity in Trollope’s The Three Clerks

– Jean Webb, University of Worcester, ‘Alcoholism and the innocents’: a discussion of    drunkenness in Charles Kingsley and Hesba Stretton’s writing for children

12.30 – 1.15 pm: Lunch

1.15 – 2.30 pm: Panel 2 – Alcohol and Gender

– David Ibitson, Men of Substance: Jerome, Zangwill and New Humour’s Masculine Boozing

– Gemma Outen, Discourses of Drink: Temperance Fiction

– Bob Nicholson, Edge Hill University, ‘Bosom Caressers,’ ‘Corpse-Revivers,’ and Other Alcoholic Encounters with America in Victorian Britain.

2.30 – 2.45 pm: Comfort Break

2.45 – 4 pm: Panel 3 – De Quincey’s Confessions

– Anna Rowntree, Peace and Posthumanism in Thomas De Quincey`s Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

– Hannah Donovan, Queen Mary University London, Thomas De Quincey’s Somatic Dream Visions

– Menglu Gao,  “Founding Its Empire on Spells of Pleasure”: Brunonian Excitability, the Invigorated English Opium-eater, and Thomas De Quincey’s “China Question”

4 – 4.20: Afternoon Tea

4.20 – 5.30 pm: Panel 4 – Empire and Drugs

– Sarah Irving, Kings College London, “Mrs. Gobat smoked a narghile”: authenticity, empire and substance use in Mary Eliza Rogers’ descriptions of Palestine

– Jamie Banks, University of Leicester, ‘The Dens of Infamy in the Charlestown District’: Opium Dens and Colonial Anxieties in British Guiana and Trinidad, 1860 – 1900

– Suzanne Bode, Pre-Raphaelite Art and the Influence of Opium on Ways of Seeing

5.45 – 6.45 pm: Keynote 2: Susan Zieger, University of California Riverside

Conference Dinner: Miyagis, Ormskirk, from 7.30 pm. See our Conference Dinner page for details


Friday 14th September

9.30 – 10 am: Hangover Breakfast

10 – 11 am: Keynote 3: Douglas Small, University of Glasgow

11.15 am – 12.30 pm: Panel 5 – Addiction and Morality

– Kevin McCarron, University of Roehampton, “Pale eyed and melancholy”: addiction as  moral and scientific failure in the Victorians

– Sarah Frühwirth, University of Vienna, Austria, Addictive Reading: Sensation Fiction and Substance Abuse

– Sean A. Witters, University of Vermont, “Using Addict; or, Is it Working Yet?”

12.30 – 2 pm: Lunch with ECR Discussion

2 – 3.30 pm: Panel 6 – Late Victorian Drug Cultures

– Rebecka Klette, Birkbeck, University of London, Mercurial Poisons: syphilis and mercury treatment as cause and cure of mental disorders, 1880-1909

– Natalie Roxburgh, University of Siegen, Medication and Social Optimization in Dorian Gray and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

– Abigail Boucher, Aston University, “Dabbling in Delicate Drugs”: Aristocracy, Darwinism, and Substance Abuse in M.P. Shiel’s The Purple Cloud

3.30 – 4.30 pm: Panel 7  Post-Victorian Dynamics 

– Estelle Murail, Reimagining the nineteenth-century opium scene: the case of Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy

– Alyson Brown, Power in the Smoke

4.30 – 5 pm: Closing Remarks



Alcohol in colonial South India (dissertation and forthcoming publications)

Darinee Alagirisamy received her PhD in History from Cambridge University, where she developed a keen interest in the history of alcohol prohibition in South India.  Entitled “The Politics of Alcohol in Colonial South India, 1886-1947,” her dissertation emphasised the impact of provincial politics and social conditions on the developments that culminated in the Madras Prohibition Act of 1937. She is currently developing these arguments further for her first book.

Apart from her book, Darinee has written two research articles, which are under review. Respectively, they trace social responses to prohibition’s introduction from the perspective of minority religious sentiment, and the politics of the Indian National Congress party’s endorsement of a national temperance drink in late colonial India. Her previous research, which includes an article on the racialisation of alcohol policy in British Malaya, is pending publication in Modern Asian Studies.