Schumann - mercury, quinine, arsenic
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Classical music and drugs: which composers took what?
4. Schumann - mercury, quinine, arsenic
Scholar Martin Geck describes Robert Schumann as "a political activist, the father of eight children, and an addict of mind-altering drugs," in his book on the composer. Schumann also reportedly took a variety of different drugs to deal with his syphilis and the pain he suffered in his right hand (a result of a finger-stretching regime gone horribly wrong), including mercury, quinine and arsenic, although there is much conjecture about exactly what he took.