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Robert Burton
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    (February 8, 1577-January 25, 1640)
    Born in Lindley, England, United Kingdom
    Fellow of Christ Church College, Oxford
    Appointed vicar of St. Thomas' Church, Oxford (1616)
    Wrote 'The Anatomy of Melancholy' (1621)
    He suffered bouts of depression.
    He wrote, 'All the world is melancholy or mad.'
    He was an astrologer.
    He predicted he would die at age 62, and was rumored to have hanged himself when his 63rd birthday was imminent to avoid being wrong.
    His writing style was parodied by Laurence Sterne in 'Tristam Shandy.'
    He noted, 'I write of melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy. There is no greater cause of melancholy than idleness, no better cure than business.'
    His other favorite cure for depression was going down to the river and listening to the bargemen cursing at each other.
    He was described as a person of 'great honesty, plain dealing, and charity.'
    The story about him hanging himself is probably BS.
    Fans of 'The Anatomy of Melancholy' included Samuel Johnson, John Keats and Anthony Burgess, who said 'Most modern books weary me, but Burton never does.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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