The Art of Melancholy.

By Democritus Junior

Printed: 1845

Publisher: Thomas Tegg. London

Edition: New edition

Dimensions 16 × 24 × 5.5 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 16 x 24 x 5.5


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Item information


Brown cloth binding with gilt title and date on the spine.

F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feel and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.

This book focuses on the art to ‘The Anatomy of Melancholy’

The Anatomy of Melancholy is a book by Robert Burton , first published in 1621. On its surface, the book is presented as a medical textbook in which Burton applies his vast and varied learning, in the scholastic manner, to the subject of melancholia (which includes, although it is not limited to, what is now termed clinical depression). Although presented as a medical text, it is as much a sui generis work of literature as it is a scientific or philosophical text, and Burton addresses far more than his stated subject. In fact, the Anatomy uses melancholy as the lens through which all human emotion and thought may be scrutinized, and virtually the entire contents of a 17th-century library are marshalled into service of this goal. It is encyclopedic in its range and reference. In his satirical preface to the reader, Burton’s persona and pseudonym “Democritus Junior” explains, “I write of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy.” This is characteristic of the author’s style, which often supersedes the book’s strengths as a medical text or historical document as its main source of appeal to admirers. Both satirical and serious in tone, the Anatomy is “vitalized by (Burton’s) pervading humour”, and his digressive and inclusive style, often verging on a stream of consciousness, consistently informs and animates the text.

Condition notes

Old spine repair

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