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A User's Guide to Melancholy

A User's Guide to Melancholy

by Mary Ann Lund
A User's Guide to Melancholy

A User's Guide to Melancholy

by Mary Ann Lund


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A User's Guide to Melancholy takes Robert Burton's encyclopaedic masterpiece The Anatomy of Melancholy (first published in 1621) as a guide to one of the most perplexing, elusive, attractive, and afflicting diseases of the Renaissance. Burton's Anatomy is perhaps the largest, strangest, and most unwieldy self-help book ever written. Engaging with the rich cultural and literary framework of melancholy, this book traces its causes, symptoms, and cures through Burton's writing. Each chapter starts with a case study of melancholy - from the man who was afraid to urinate in case he drowned his town to the girl who purged a live eel - as a way into exploring the many facets of this mental affliction. A User's Guide to Melancholy presents in an accessible and illustrated format the colourful variety of Renaissance melancholy, and contributes to contemporary discussions about wellbeing by revealing the earlier history of mental health conditions.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108982580
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/25/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
File size: 27 MB
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About the Author

Mary Ann Lund is Associate Professor in Renaissance English Literature at the University of Leicester. She is the author of Melancholy, Medicine, and Religion in Early Modern England: Reading 'The Anatomy of Melancholy' (Cambridge University Press, 2010) which was shortlisted for the CCUE Book Prize. She has contributed to the BBC Radio 4 series: In Our Time on The Anatomy of Melancholy (2011), The Glass Delusion (2015), and A History of Delusions (2018). She was an AHRC Leadership Fellow (2015-17) and edited The Oxford Edition of the Sermons of John Donne: Vol. 12 (2018).

Table of Contents

Introduction; Causes: 1. Sorrow and fear; 2. Body and mind; 3. The supernatural; Symptoms: 4. Delusions; 5. Love and sex; 6. Despair; Cures: 7. The non-naturals; 8. Medicine and surgery; 9. Lifting the spirits; Robert Burton, 'The Author's Abstract of Melancholy'; Conclusion: The Two Faces of Melancholy.

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