It was available in Britain from the late 17th Century onwards, and was used for pain relief, inducing sleep, and for the treatment of various medical ailments in both adults and children.
Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859) gave an account of his addiction to laudanum in his book Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821).
A shilling was a pre-decimalisation British coin worth the equivalent of 5 new pence.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is probably the most famous English Victorian novelist; his works include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol.
His poetry collection, Leaves of Grass, with its open discussion of sexual themes, was considered obscene in its day.
Extract from I Sing the Body Electric:
Ebb stung by the flow and flow stung by the ebb - love-flesh swelling and deliciously aching;
Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of love, white-blow and delirious juice;
A Tam o' Shanter is a hat with a tight-fitting headband and a loose, floppy crown. There is often a pompom or tassel at the centre. It is named after a character in a poem by Robert Burns.
Originally worn by Scottish men, and made only in blue, it was subsequently adopted by women and made in all sorts of colours and materials.
And doesn't know where to find them.
Leave them alone, and they'll come home,
Bringing their tails behind them.