BURTON, Robert; [E. McKnight Kauffer, Illus.] The Anatomy of Melancholy. What it is, with all the kinds, causes, symptomes, prognostickes, & several cures of it. London: The Nonesuch Press, 1925.
Royal 8vo, 2 vols; quarter vellum, lettered in gilt to spines over patterned paper boards; illustrated with numerous black and white full-page and inter-text illustrations by E. McKnight Kauffer; pp. Vol I xv, [i], 299, [iii]; Vol II [viii], 301-588, [viii]; upper edges with small sun bleached area to a not-unattractive blue tone; bookplates of Lenore and James Marshall to front paste-downs; internally very fresh, with ffeps pasted to first page, else a lovely, bright set.
Limited edition, one of 750 copies printed on Dutch paper with the Nonesuch Press watermark. This number 195. Reprinted from the original text of the 6th edition, typography arranged by Francis Meynell and printing executed by The Westminster Press.
First published in 1621, The Anatomy of Melancholy was a landmark medical textbook on the subject of melancholia, known today as clinical depression. Burton, who himself suffered from the disease, addresses melancholy as the lens through which all human emotion and thought can be scrutinized, and draws upon nearly every science of his day (including psychology, physiology, astronomy, meteorology and even demonology) in his attempts to explicate the disease, making the text encyclopaedic in its range and reference, and incredibly forward thinking for its time. The author, under the assumed name of Democritus Junior, offers many causes for melancholy, discusses the cure of its many forms and throws much light on the customs and social attitudes of the day. Dr. Johnson said it was one of his favourite books, and the only one that "ever took him out of bed two hours sooner than he wished to rise." (Boswell)
One of the most popular psychiatric books ever written, appearing in over 70 editions since its original publication.