• Read with me!

    When a giant angry turnip was elected president of the United States last year, I started to feel a little down. Naturally my response was to buy an unabridged copy of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. My get-out-of-bed-without-crying-plan is to read a little piece of this gargantuan lump of knowledge daily, and I will illustrate it as I go.

Recent Posts

Anatomy of Melancholy, 174-177: Pt. I, Sec. I, Mem. III, Subs. 4 – Of the Species or Kinds of Melancholy

  When the matter is diverse and confused, how should it otherwise be but that the species should be diverse and confused?   This post is part of a long, tedious, and very illustrated read-along of Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. More info here and follow along on Facebook here. Illustrations posted via devon_isadevon on Instagram.

Anatomy of Melancholy, 173-174: Member III, Subsect. III – Of the Matter of Melancholy

What is melancholy made of made of? What is melancholy made of? Snips and snails and puppy dogs’ tails. That’s what melancholy is made of: If the humour be cold, it is, saith Faventinus, “a cause of dotage, and produceth milder symptoms: if hot, they are rash, raving mad, or inclining to it.” If the […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 170-172: Memb. III, Subsect. II – Of the Part Affected. Affection. Parties Affected.

  Were you born under Saturn? Do you live in a climate that is too cold? Too hot? Too moist? Are you too moist generally? Is your head unusually small? These are just a few of the many sources of a saturnine temperament. Here Burton also addresses the hotly debated topic of whether melancholy affects […]

Anatomy of Melancholy 169-170: Memb. III, Subsect. I. – Definition of Melancholy, Name, Difference

Hey look! I made it to Member III! I didn’t even know that I was in Member II before! What are Members?!  And why didn’t I notice them before?! I am pretty sure that we have four levels of sections and subsections going on here: Parts, Sections, Members, and Subsections. Wow. So anyhow, at last: […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 167-169: Subsect. XI – Of the will

Those natural and vegetal powers are not commanded by will at all; for “who can add one cubit to his stature?” These other may, but are not: and thence come all those headstrong passions, violent perturbations of the mind; and many times vicious habits, customs, feral diseases; because we give so much way to our […]

Anatomy of Melancholy, 165-166: Subsect. X – Of the Understanding

In this subsection I learned that there are fourteen “species” of understanding, so I drew fourteen things: Now these notions are twofold, actions or habits: actions, by which we take notions of, and perceive things; habits, which are durable lights and notions, which we may use when we will. Some reckon up eight kinds of […]