Sunday, July 23, 2023

"The Famous Parisian Potheads of the Belle Epoque"

From Messy Nessy Chic, July 7:

Ah, Belle Epoque Paris: a lost world of artists, writers, dancers, philosophers and …. potheads? Today, we’re getting acquainted with the long forgotten Club des Hashischins, “Club of the Hashish-Eaters”, a 19th century gang of Parisians dedicated to drug-induced experiences, whose members included a gaggle of the most prolific intellectual names, including Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Charles Baudelaire, and Honoré de Balzac to mention a few. Snacks ready? Let’s light this one up…

 Hôtel de Lauzun

Our collective of creative Parisian ‘hash-heads’ met regularly in the heart of Paris between 1844 and 1849 on Ile St-Louis at the gothic Hôtel de Lauzun, the rented townhouse of 19th century painter and musician Fernand Boissard. Charles Baudelaire, who at the time was busy translating the works of Edgar Allan Poe, writer Victor Hugo (best known for his novels Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame), novelists Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo) and painter Eugéne Delacroix, among other famous heavyweights, regularly dipped in and out of the ‘Club of the Hashish-Eaters’ suitably dressed in bohemian attire. The glue that cemented this social club together was of course the drug hashish, a highly potent form of cannabis made by compressing and processing the flowering buds of the female cannabis plant. The drug has been consumed for centuries – the exact date of its first appearance isn’t clear but northern India and Nepal have a history of thousands of years of producing it....