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The Nature of MelancholyFrom Aristotle to Kristeva$
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Jennifer Radden

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195151657

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195151657.001.0001

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Melancholic States

Melancholic States


(p.129) 10 Melancholic States
The Nature of Melancholy

Jennifer Radden

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents Robert Burton's discussion of melancholy. Burton's education at Oxford began when he was only sixteen. He was admitted as a commoner at Brasenose College and then in 1599 was elected a student of Christ Church College. In 1614 he was awarded his bachelor of divinity, after which he was both tutor and librarian at Christ Church College, as well as serving as vicar of Saint Thomas' Church in 1616 and rector of Seagrave in Leicestershire in 1630. Once established at Christ Church, he devoted himself to the research and writing that led in 1621 to the first edition of The Anatomy of Melancholy. The Anatomy is unmatched as a compendium of human failing, folly, anxiety, suffering, and variation, written in a style that is so eccentric yet so acute and vital that it is one of the most beloved of English books.

Keywords:   Robert Burton, melancholy, The Anatomy of Melancholy

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