Drugs and Victorian Society by Maire Claremont + Giveaway


Who wants some opium? Well, today it’s highly regulated. . . People are still massively addicted and will do a lot of things to get things like Vicodin and Oxycotin. . . But in the Victorian period the original real deal was Laudanum and it was much easier to obtain.

Now, we think of people popping pills. Then it came in a brown bottle meant to be swigged. At first, laudanum was a god send. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were NO pain killers. Nothing to alleviate the horrors of surgeries. Soldiers frequently underwent horrific operations with nothing but a bit of brandy to help them through a limb being severed and then the poppy was brought to the west. It revolutionized pain management. With laudanum, patients didn’t die of shock. It truly helped. It calmed the nerves.

There was just one thing. It was HIGHLY addictive and available over the counter. Laudanum was available in mass. Not only that, it was marketed to pacify children. One of the worst things was something called Godfrey’s cordial. There were other brands, but this is the most well known. It was straight laudanum mixed with treacle aka maple syrup. Lower class parents and middle class parents bought this to stop their children form crying. And it worked. There’s only one thing. Laudanum severely reduces appetite. A study was done in the middle nineteenth century in the rise of death of children. These children weren’t dying of overdoses. They were dying of malnutrition because they had no desire to eat.

Eventually, laudanum was recognized to have severe problems. . . So, Morphine was introduced. At the time, they understood addiction as a literal hunger. Victorians believed you were “hungry” for the drug and if you could bypass the stomach you could bypass the addiction. The hypodermic syringe was invented and so, morphine was administered to the blood stream.

Of course, this didn’t work. The addictions were even worse because of the higher concentration of opium and the immediate release to the system.

The tragedy of course was that so many women were treated with opium to “calm” their nerves. Almost everything was treated with laudanum, creating a society trapped by addiction.

My own heroine experiences the tragedy of laudanum addiction. She’s given it to keep her quiet and its quite a battle for her to leave the drug. I hope you go on the journey of recovery with her. And, I hope we can all rejoice in the fact that opium, a drug that truly changes the brain, is no longer widely administered to our society and our children.


The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor….

Lord Ian Blake has returned from India a broken man. Years ago, he pledged to Lady Eva Carin—his childhood companion and ” first love—that he would bring her husband back alive. His failure haunts him. But even his jade soul can’t anticipate the shocking sight of beautiful, independent Eva confined in a madhouse….

Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked….

Read an Excerpt




maire claremont author pic

photo by Jenn LeBlanc

2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own… until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his frst wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.

Find Maire:
Author Site | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest





Maire is giving away a copy of The Dark Lady to one lucky commenter. Open to US addresses. Just leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win.

42 Responses to “Drugs and Victorian Society by Maire Claremont + Giveaway”
  1. I’ve read a few historical romances dealing with opium addiction and it’s very sad to me. I can understand the way others around said person feel. My dad was a drug addict when I was growing up and I watched it ruin his life. Thankfully he’s not off the drugs and living a clean life but I remember how hard it was to watch. I can’t wait to read this and see how Ian takes care of his lady love.


  2. Kim says:

    Congratulations on your new release. Interesting blog post and an intriguing backdrop for your book.



  3. Shelley says:

    I love books with such an intriguing premise! Thanks!


  4. I love the cover of this book! It’s gorgeous!!


  5. Janie McGaugh says:

    Interesting post!


  6. misusedinnocence says:

    This sounds amazing. I would love to read it!



  7. bn100 says:

    Interesting post.


  8. I so want to read this book! Especially knowing that Marie loves Rochester (my favorite). Thanks!


    • maireclaremont says:

      Oh I ADORE him. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites ever!!!! Can’t wait for you to read and I have a silly Irish name Máire pronounced moira. 😀 Love meeting more Jane Eyre fans!


  9. Victoria says:

    Awesome article and I too always appreciated a dark hero. Maybe not so much in real life. And I love your name! Look forward to reading your book.


  10. Marcy Shuler says:

    The excerpt was amazing! Thanks for the sneak peek and the chance to win a copy.


  11. I am looking for a good romance…this is going on my tbl for sure. I can’t wait to read it!!!!



  12. I loved meeting you at RomCon last year and would enjoy a chance to read your book. 😀


  13. SheriV says:

    Ever since Jenn mentioned this book, I’ve been dying to try it. Hopefully I can pick it up soon. 😉

    smurfettev AT gmail DOT com


  14. catslady says:

    Isn’t it amazing what is acceptable and how often it changes – fascinating subject and sounds like a fascinating read!

    catslady5 (at)aol.com


  15. Himeko says:

    I read the excerpt at the end of All I Want For Christmas is a Duke and it totally pulled me in. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one Maire.


  16. lisoo says:

    Now, see, that’s the Victorian times you don’t usually read about in the romance stories. haha
    lisakhutson at cox. net


  17. Ebony Morton says:

    Cool giveaway! !!! Book looks like a great read! !!!! 🙂


  18. Diane P. Diamond says:

    Wow, the except has totally enthralled me. I love a book that has danger, intrigue, and romance in it. This is so different from the other romance books that I read, and I truly would love to read Eva and Ian’s story in it’s entirety.

    Thank you for this opportunity to win, and congratulations on such a beautiful cover.


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