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The Anatomy of Melancholy (1628)

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1628)

C038/6522

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Credit

US NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1628). Frontispiece from the 1628 third edition of 'The Anatomy of Melancholy' by English scholar Robert Burton (1577-1640). First published in 1621, this work was published under the pseudonym Democritus Junior. At top is the Ancient Greek philosopher Democritus the Abderite. At top right and top left are representations of jealousy (zelotypia) and solitude (solitudo). At bottom left and right are two herbs (borage and hellebore). Human figures at left and right represent: a lover, a hypochondriac, a superstitious person, and a mad person. Running to many hundreds of pages, the book covered a range of topics from psychology to physiology, astronomy, meteorology, theology and astrology. There were a total of five much-revised editions produced by Burton over a period of seventeen years (1621 to 1638), with a sixth edition appearing in 1651.

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