Etidorhpa is a novel by John Uri Lloyd (illustrations by John Augustus Knapp), published in 1895, which appears to describe hallucinations seen while under the influence of a psychedelic mushroom. It may be one of the first accounts in modern Western civilisation of mushroom intoxication.
There is ample evidence, both circumstantial and prima facie, that Lloyd had experienced intoxication by psilocybin. Lloyd was a fin de siecle character, both a competent pharmaceutical chemist and a man with a passion for occult literature and speculation....Lloyd and his brothers published a quarterly journal, 'Drugs and Medicines of North America'...John Uri's brother, Curtis Gates Lloyd, is described by one source as one of the leading fungi botanists of his time. C.G. Lloyd made extensive collections of fungi in the Gulf States and the Deep South; there can be little doubt that if a mushroom species such as Stropharia Cubensis was present then in those places with even a fraction of the frequency that it is encountered today, then Curtis Gates Lloyd would have collected and been familiar with it.
Within the book, in Chapter 23, the hero of the novel is told to drink the juice of a "peculiar fungus". After numerous strange visions, including fairies and brilliant colours, it is revealed that the long adventure had taken place in the time it had taken for the hero to fall to his knees after drinking the hallucinogenic mushroom brew. In the words of the novel, "Time has been annihilated...your dream began inside of eternity, you did not pass into it".
- The title of the novel is 'Aphrodite' spelled backwards.
- Online text of Etidorhpa at Lycaeum.org