Thomas de Quincey was born to a linen merchant in 1785 in Manchester. He was interested in writing since his childhood and he did start writing classic essays since his early age. He had two idols, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whom he followed and worked with. He then started taking opium while he was in exile and lived on the streets for about 5 months. He was addicted to opium and went on to write several literary essays and received much fame with his writings that appeared in many magazines.
The primary reason of writing the pamphlet was to bring to the attention of common public the present condition of the relationship between Britain and China, the forthcoming and future relationships that may be shaped, and to give his opinions about the opium trade and the reasons behind China’s policy of restricting opium imports from Britain and Britain’s opium establishment in India.
He is writing the pamphlet sitting in the fence of a political party which is building its consensus on a Chinese war and id defending the decision against the Conservative Party headed by Sir Robert Peel. He contends that the policy for China is being agreed by all the parties but the Conservative Party is against voting for a war decision on China. He is legitimately defending it by giving logical reasons that would build the agreement among a larger portion of the parties and the war gets a nod to be waged. He contends that every party which is bound by public fellowship, which he considers by the income earned by selling opium in China, must voice their opinion about avoiding any imbalance in supporting the fellow citizens. This primarily led him to write this pamphlet and he describes the reasons for the war to be the right decision when the old policy for opium trade with China has not been able to achieve its desired outcome.