The Corner

Stuttaford Roots

East Norfolk, hmmm? Let’s see…. “In the Fens, where suffering from

rheumatism was universal and opium was a sovereign remedy, most people grew

it in their gradens… Ely was known as ‘the opium-eating city’… Women

and children were the biggest consumers, but everyone seems to have taken it

occasionally. In Wisbech, you went into a shop, put a penny on the counter,

the shopkeeper asked ‘The best?’ you nodded, and a package of opium was

handed over…” (Paul Johnson, The Birth of the Modern)

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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