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Mysteriously sophisticated, darkly alluring, almost Satanic: absinthe was the drink of choice for Baudelaire, Verlaine and Wilde. It inspired paintings by Degas and Manet, van Gogh and Picasso. It was blamed for conditions ranging from sterility to madness, to French defeats in World War I. The campaign against 'the devil in a bottle' resulted in its ban throughout most of Europe. "Hideous Absinthe" is a biography of the 'green fairy' that questions the basis of anti-absinthe hysteria and describes how absinthe came to symbolise the high points of art and the depths of degeneration. It comes up-to-date via the thrill-seeking American absinthe drinkers in the twentieth century, from Hemingway to the backpackers of Prague; and covers the rediscovery of absinthe in England's club culture of the twenty-first century.
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