By Mary Ann Lund
The Anatomy of depression, first released in 1621, is without doubt one of the maximum works of early sleek English prose writing, but it has obtained little tremendous literary feedback in recent times. This research situates Robert Burton's complicated paintings inside 3 comparable contexts: non secular, scientific and literary/rhetorical. Analysing Burton's declare that his textual content must have healing results on his melancholic readership, it examines the authorial development of the examining approach within the context of different early sleek writing, either canonical and non-canonical, offering a brand new strategy in the direction of the rising box of the heritage of analyzing. Lund responds to Burton's statement that depression is an disorder of physique and soul which calls for either a non secular and a corporal therapy, exploring the theological complexion of Burton's writing in terms of English non secular discourse of the early 17th century, and the prestige of his paintings as a clinical textual content.
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Additional info for Melancholy, Medicine and Religion in Early Modern England: Reading 'The Anatomy of Melancholy'
By the time of the sixth edition (1651), the text has accumulated an illustrated frontispiece accompanied by a verse explanation of 24 Imagining Readings 25 its meaning (‘The Argument of the Frontispeice’ (sic)), a dedication to his patron, the Latin poem ‘Democritus Junior ad Librum Suum’ and an English one: ‘The Authors Abstract of Melancholy’. There follows the very long preface, ‘Democritus Junior to the Reader’; this was the section of the Anatomy most revised and enlarged by Burton over the nineteen years between its first publication (1621) and his death in 1640, a sign of its significance to the book as a whole.
At a broader level, the Anatomy is not (as a few have claimed) a vast academic joke but it certainly has Debora K. Shuger, Sacred Rhetoric: The Christian Grand Style in the English Renaissance (Princeton University Press, 1988), esp. pp. 6–7, 21, 28–9, 46. See also Brian Vickers, ‘ “The Power of Persuasion”: Images of the Orator, Elyot to Shakespeare’, in James J. ), Renaissance Eloquence: Studies in the Theories and Practices of Renaissance Rhetoric (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), pp.
The evidence of texts suggests that many English authors are eager to make their texts navigable by readers. Edmund Spenser’s Shepheardes Calender (1579), for example, is well known for its complex textual apparatus, much of which makes an explicit feature of the reader’s interpretative independence. The glosses to each month’s poem – by E. , a figure separate from the author and hence critically distanced from him – glance at political and theological readings while not fully elucidating them, a tactic that keeps meanings veiled and simultaneously encourages varied methods of analysis.
Melancholy, Medicine and Religion in Early Modern England: Reading 'The Anatomy of Melancholy' by Mary Ann Lund