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The Anatomy of Melancholy: What it is, with all the kinds, causes, symptoms, prognostics, and several cures of it. In three partitions. With their several sections, members, and subsections, philosophically, medically, historically opened and cut up. The Anatomy of Melancholy. Robert Burton (8 February 1577 - 25 January 1640) was an English scholar at Oxford University, best known for the classic The Anatomy of Melancholy. He was also the incumbent of St Thomas the Martyr, Oxford, and of Seagrave in Leicestershire. On its surface, the book is presented as a medical textbook in which Burton applies his vast and varied learning, in the scholastic manner, to the subject of melancholia (which includes, although it is not limited to, what is now termed clinical depression). Though presented as a medical text, The Anatomy of Melancholy is as much a sui generis work of literature as it is a scientific or philosophical text, and Burton addresses far more than his stated subject.