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Robert Burton

Robert Burton (1577-1640) was an English scholar at Oxford University (Brasenose College), whose chief claim to fame is for writing The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Burton spent most of his life at Oxford, where he was a fellow of Brasenose College. He studied a large number of diverse subjects, many of which made their way into the study of melancholia for which he is chiefly famous. He was appointed vicar of St. Thomas Church in Oxford in 1616, and in 1630 he was also made the rector of Segrave[?], Leicester. Apart from The Anatomy of Melancholy his only other published work is Philosophaster, a satirical Latin comedy.

He wrote The Anatomy of Melancholy largely because he found himself a lifelong suffer from melancholia. As he put it,

I had a heavy heart and an ugly head, a kind of impostume in my head, which I was very desirous to be unladen of.
---The Anatomy of Melancholy, "Democritus to the Reader"



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