« Burton, Lewis William Burton, Robert Burwash, Nathaniel »

Burton, Robert

BURTON, ROBERT: Author of the Anatomy of Melancholy; b. at Lindley (20 m. e.n.e. of Birmingham), Leicestershire, Feb. 8, 1577; d. at Oxford Jan. 25, 1640. He studied at Brasenose and Christ Church, Oxford (B.D., 1614); became vicar of St. Thomas, in the west suburbs of Oxford, 1616, and in addition, about 1630, rector of Segrave, Leicestershire. His life was spent among his books at Oxford; Anthony Wood, a generation after his death, describes him as a good mathematician, a philologist, and astrologer, a hard student and well-read scholar, considered by some melancholy and morose, but by those who knew him better esteemed for honesty and charity, and as a merry and genial companion. His famous work (Oxford, 1621), which is a vast collection of quotations and allusions, abundantly proves his learning. Five editions appeared during Burton's life, each with many alterations and additions and a sixth was printed from his annotated manuscript (1651–52). The edition of 1800 contains an account of the author. There is a modern edition by A. R. Shilleto, with introduction by A. H. Bullen (London, 1893). The Philosophaster is a Latin comedy written in 1606 and acted at Christ Church on Shrove Monday (Feb. 16), 1618; with certain Latin poemata it was printed for the Roxburghe Club (London, 1862).

Bibliography: Besides the Memoir in the ed. of 1800, consult: A. à Wood, Athenæ Oxonienses, ed. P. Bliss, ii. 652–653, 4 vols., London, 1813–20; J. Nichols, History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, vol. iii., part i., pp. 415–419, 4 vols., London, 1795–1811. The account in DNR, viii. 12–14 describes rather the book than the man.

« Burton, Lewis William Burton, Robert Burwash, Nathaniel »
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