Skip to product information
1 of 1

The Anatomy of Melancholy

The Anatomy of Melancholy

by Robert Burton, introduction by William H. Gass

Regular price $29.95
Regular price $0.00 Sale price $29.95

The Anatomy of Melancholy will be back in stock soon.

One of the major documents of modern European civilization, Robert Burton’s astounding compendium, a survey of melancholy in all its myriad forms, has invited nothing but superlatives since its publication in the seventeenth century. Lewellyn Powys called it “the greatest work of prose of the greatest period of English prose-writing,” while the celebrated surgeon William Osler declared it the greatest of medical treatises. And Dr. Johnson, Boswell reports, said it was the only book that he rose early in the morning to read with pleasure. In this surprisingly compact and elegant new edition, Burton’s spectacular verbal labyrinth is sure to delight, instruct, and divert today’s readers as much as it has those of the past four centuries.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9780940322660
Pages: 1392
Publication Date:


Paperback not so much of the week as of the year, of the decade—or, I am inclined to say, of all time. And why? Because it's the best book ever written, that's why.
— Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

All I can say is that most modern books weary me, but Burton never does...His writing is like talk, learned but earthy, and once he starts, he is hard to stop...That he was a humorist in our sense of the word we need no biographical facts to attest: The Anatomy of Melancholy is, by a magnificent and somehow very English irony, one of the great comic works of the world.
— Anthony Burgess

No prose writer—ever—has been more of a universe than Robert Burton, self-curing author of The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), an essay on the humors that went utterly out of control and became the craziest, best entertainment ever written in English—far more important than the King James Bible in terms of effect on alpha—class letters.
— William Monahan, Bookforum

View full details
  • Shopping for someone else but not sure what to give them? Give them the gift of choice with a New York Review Books Gift Card.

    Gift Cards 
  • A membership for yourself or as a gift for a special reader will promise a year of good reading.

    Join NYRB Classics Book Club 
  • Is there a book that you’d like to see back in print, or that you think we should consider for one of our series? Let us know!

    Tell us about it