Reviewed Rob Morrison's admirable new biography of Thomas De Quincey, the English Opium Eater. Hard to believe that it is nearly thirty years since Grevel Lindop's equally good treatment of the same life. Bringing the melancholy thought that perhaps in twenty years someone will write a biography of John Clare that makes mine obsolete. Made to think about this because Morrison slightly underplayed the occasion when DeQ met the Northamptonshire poet: he could have done more with Clare's brilliant observations of the opium eater's character. Clare still haunts me, as I'm sure DeQ does Lindop. The psychology of the biographer's relationship to his subject: a fascinating subject in itself.