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The Anatomy of Melancholy; In Which the Kinds, Causes, Consequences, and Cures of This English Malady, Are -- Traced from Within Its Inmost Centre to [Paperback]

Robert Burton
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 May 2012
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1824 Excerpt: ...this complaint, is that which is effected by rectifying the passions and perturbations of the mind; for a quiet mind is the true voluptas or summum bonum of Epicureans; the highest blessing man can enjoy: and Galen, the common master, from whose fountain all subsequent physicians fetch their water. relates, that he has cured many patients of this infirmity by the right settling alone of their minds. Music is one, and not the least powerful, of those many means which philosophers and physicians have prescribed to exhilarate a sorrowful heart, and to divert those intense cares which accompany this complaint. Musica est mentis medicina mesta; a roaring-meg against melancholy: it rears and revives the languishing soul; affects not only the ears, but the very arteries; awakens the dormant powers, raises the animal spirits, and renders the most dull, severe, and sorrowful mind, erect and nimble. The effect of music upon the human soul is wonderful: Athensus calls it a matchless and inexhaustible treasure; and Cassiodorus says it will not only expel the severest grief, soften the most violent hatred, mitigate the sharpest spleen, but extenuate fear and fury, appease cruelty, abate heaviness, and bring the mind to quietude and rest. The harps of Orpheus, Amphion, and Arion, charmed all nature with their powers: even--Things inanimate have moved. And, as with living souls, have been inform'd By magic numbers and persuasive sounds. Music, divine music, besides the excellent powers it possesses of expelling many other diseases, is a sovereign remedy against despair and melan-_ ctaoly, and will drive even the Devil himself away. Canus, a musician at Rhodes, when Apol-lonius inquired what he could effect by means of his pipe, told him that he could make a melan-choly ma...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 90 pages
  • Publisher: RareBooksClub.com (7 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1150489448
  • ISBN-13: 978-1150489440
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 22.5 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 489,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Robert Burton (1577-1640) was elected a student of Christ Church College, Oxford, in 1599 and took his B.D. in 1614. He served as a vicar in Oxford and then as the rector of Seagrave. The Anatomy of Melancholy appeared in five editions during the author's lifetime and has been reprinted countless times since. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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VADE liber, qualis, non ausim dicere, felix, Te nisi felicem fecerit Alma dies. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy was the pinnacle of the trend for treatises in the 17th century. This wide-ranging tome speculates on the causes and effects of melancholy, and in so doing broaches many social and historical questions in an idiosyncratic and anecdotal style.
From time to time, Burton was afflicted by melancholy and he confesses in his introduction (Democritus to the Reader) that he wrote the Anatomy to relieve his own melancholy. It seems that the treatment was successful, because his contemporaries regarded him as a 'good-humoured pessimist'.
The Anatomy is the offspring of a bookish mind: Hallam states that it is "a sweeping of the miscellaneous literature from the Bodleian Library". Indeed, Burton devoured the Bodleian and the end result does have an air of jumble and deliberate confusion about it, but this is one of its greatest charms. However, it runs to half a million words, and is therefore, no haphazardly slapped together pamphlet.
The chapter titles of the book are intriguing enough in their own right: 'Self-Love, Pride, Vainglory'; 'Stories of Possession' and the reassuringly named 'Miseries of Scholars'! The latter chapter makes interesting reading for me - a poor, beleaguered 'scholar'. One quotation speaks particularly strongly "Hoc est cur palles? Cur quis non prandeat hoc est?", which Burton kindly translates as "Is it for this that we have pale faces and do without our breakfasts?" and perhaps more closer to the bone..."Quid tantum insanis juvant impallescere chartis?", which translates as "Why lose the colour of our youthful age by constant bending o'er the stupid page?". Yes. My thoughts exactly.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Moderate thine expenses" 2 April 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a well-made paperback. The body text reproduces - photographically but clearly, and in quite dense black - Holbrook Jackson's edition of 1932. The introductions are newly set. One is Holbrook Jackson's own; the other is a new introduction by William H. Gass.

The book contains all three of Burton's "Partitions". Burton's marginal notes are retained (although not on the page, but as end-notes after each Partition.) The whole book is a little over 1400 pages. The ?1932 index is 1.9%, but well done within its limits: thus, three-quarters of a page in the index is given over to LOVE and LOVE-MELANCHOLY, and the index then proceeds by way of LOVERS, LOW Countries and LUNGS to LUST, LUTHERANS and LYCANTHROPIA; and so on. There is a 14-page modern glossary.

This book is outstandingly good value.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars yes but not this version 17 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
This book is a classic of its sort and I was keen to have a new copy. This is a very poorly produced version which appears as though it has simply taken the content from the internet and reprinted it without any editing so it includes the computer coding which appears as jumbled meaningless punctuation too. Spend the extra and get a real copy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another scandal 15 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is not what it says: it is merely a few pages of introductory matter to the book. It is a snare and a delusion: do not buy it, even at this price.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Marred by typing errors 23 July 2011
By Mark
Format:Paperback
This version of the book is made unreadable by the very poor production standards. There are typing errors on every page, with random symbols being inserted at some points and new paragraphs being created in the middle of sentences.

These errors mean that as much effort is expended in trying to understand the punctuation and spelling than the meaning of the author.
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