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The Anatomy of Melancholy


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Ostensibly a guidebook to melancholia or depression, Burton's masterpiece is really an all-encompassing examination of the human condition.

About the Author

Robert Burton (1577-1640) spent most of his life in Oxford, first as a student and later as a scholar. His most famous work, the enormous Anatomy of Melancholy, was first published in 1621 and expanded in further editions throughout Burton's life.

Angus Gowland is a Reader in Intellectual History at University College London.


The best book ever written

The greatest work of prose of the greatest period of English prose-writing
*Llewelyn Powys*

Burton's masterpiece. It is one of the finest prose works in English . . . it is funny, a laugh-aloud book, one that seems to convey the character of its writer with a rare clarity. It is an ode to reading that overflows with allusions and quotations, making it a book that feels, at times, as if it is about the whole of human knowledge. In its wonderfully capacious digressiveness, it pulsates with a life force that is, in itself, a charm against the terrors, the fears and the loneliness of melancholy
*The Guardian*

This is the best popular edition ever produced of one of the most amusing books in our language, a masterpiece of scholarship. It belongs on the shelves of everyone who loves English literature and all those who aspire to do so
*The Critic*

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