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Skeptical and Natural Philosophy

Medicine and Philosophy

What was the reaction to Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy?

Burton wrote The Anatomy of Melancholy under the pseudonym “Democritus Junior.” His book was well-received. Literary historian and critic Thomas Warton (1728–1790) wrote of it: “The author’s variety of learning, his quotations from rare and curious books, his pedantry sparkling with rude wit and shapeless elegance … have rendered it a repertory of amusement and information.” Indeed, Burton’s treatise is full of satire and it constitutes a prodigious display of historical and literary knowledge.



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