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Q U I C K   L I N K S

To learn more about the engraver of the 17th-century head-piece pictured to the left, see the IN BRIEF biography for Wenceslaus Hollar.

More excerpts from Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy are available in digital format. See the She-philosopher.​com e-publication, Lib. Cat. No. BURT1621.


There is additional material on Robert Burton located elsewhere at She-philosopher.​com. The best way to find it is to use our customized search tool (search box at the top of the right-hand sidebar on this page), which is updated every time new content is added to the public areas of the website, thus ensuring the most comprehensive and reliable searches of She-philosopher.​com.

First Published:  September 2012
Revised (substantive):  9 May 2021

Under Construction

S O R R Y,  but this e-publication page — with an HTML transcript of Robert Burton’s two essays on air quality and its effects on health from The Anatomy of Melancholy (Oxford, 1621) — is still under construction.

17th-century head-piece showing six boys with farm tools, by Wenceslaus Hollar

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope that you will return to check on its progress another time.

In particular, Burton’s “Digression of the Air” is an excellent synopsis of scientific knowledge to date, and deals with a typically baroque range of topics: the atmosphere, the earth, earthquakes, the antipodes, optics, biological diversity (evolution), the tides & oceans, human phenotypes, the plurality of worlds, the “discovery” of America (which Burton attributed to divine revelation), and more.

Here, as elsewhere in his encyclopedic Anatomy of Melancholy, Burton takes an ecological approach to health care (e.g., linking air quality to melancholy and its cure). And he actively promotes the central role of science, along with mathematical studies, in the human quest for well-being.

If you have specific questions relating to’s ongoing research projects, contact the website editor.

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