This is the second volume of the Clarendon edition of Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, containing the text and textual apparatus for 'The Second Partition'. A third volume of text and two volumes of commentary will follow. In 'The Second Partition', Burton treats the spectrum of cures for melancholy, generally following the organization and analysis of symptoms and causes of the disorder as presented in 'The First Partition'. Here is found Burton's remarkable synthesis of cultural geography and climatic influences on temperament in the 'Digression of the Ayre' and his long excursion in the consolatio tradition. The final two sections of the partition present remedies from physics and surgery.
From reviews of Volume I:
`If the Anatomy has never lacked devoted readers, its editors have not always served it well until now.'
Times Literary Supplement
`this magisterial Oxford edition ... one rejoices that Burton has at last found editors of this stamp'
A. D. Nuttall, London Review of Books
`It is a great pleasure to congratulate all concerned with the Washington State/Oxford Anatomy of Melancholy on the appearance of the first two volumes of this eagerly awaited edition ... the publication of Volume I by 1989 is an impressive achievement in itself. A decade ago they, their associates, Washington State University, and Oxford University Press had the foresight, determination, and faith to embark on a project which, immensely valuable
as it is in itself in providing us with this splendid edition of Burton's masterpiece, has also opened up new territory to modern textual editing.'
Jonquil Bevan, University of Edinburgh, Review of English Studies, Feb '92
`Volume II is as impressively prepared as Volume 1; those seeking the "purest" text of Burton's masterpiece will find here the end of their search. The editors are to be commended, again, for their continuing care for detail, acute observation, and fine sense of presenting not only the definitive but, in terms of critical apparati, a very useful text.'
William C. Johnson, The Sixteenth Century Journal
`we have an authoritative edition of one of the most important, as well as compendious, works of seventeenth century literature and science...The editors and the Oxford Press deserve our thanks in bringing this giant task to completion in a readable form...for literary scholars and specialists, it can no longer be said that Burton 'awaits his editor''
`If the same care and industry that have been lavished on the text of the first two partitions is evident in the commentary ... then volumes four and five ought to be a treasure ... the book is an invaluable resource for students in a variety of disciplines: intellectual, cultural, and scientific history'
Journal of English and Germanic Philology