Mike Jay

Mike Jay is an author and cultural historian whose subjects include science, medicine, drugs, madness, literature and radical politics. Mike’s books include the Influencing Machine, about the 1797 case of an incurable lunatic, James Tilly Matthews who was confined in Bedlam and one of the most bizarre cases in the annals of psychiatry. High Society was an illustrated global history of drugs. The book accompanied the High Society exhibition, which he curated for the Wellcome Collection in London in 2010-11. Emperors of Dreams, originally published in 2000, tells the story of how today’s illicit drugs were originally discovered, and reveals their impact on the nineteenth century’s dreams and nightmares.