Used by the indigenous peoples of the Americas for millennia, it was only in the last decade of the 19th century that the powerful effects of mescaline began to be systematically explored by curious non-indigenous Americans and Europeans. Mike Jay looks at one such pioneer Havelock Ellis who, along with his small circle of fellow artists and writers, documented in wonderful detail his psychedelic experiences.
This is a web republication of the original essay by Mike Jay. Essay has been adapted from a section in Mike Jay’s Mescaline: A Global History of the First Psychedelic published by Yale University Press in 2019. The original can be found on Public Domain Review.
Titles and (animated) drop cap: CSTM Xprmntl 02 Italic (Yury Ostromentsky, CSTM Fonts). Text set in Plantin (Frank Hinman Pierpont), with captions and marginal notes in Freight Micro (Joshua Darden).