Black and white image of English scholar, writer, and clergyman Robert Burton.

Robert Burton

(1577 - 1640)

In 1599 Robert Burton was made a fellow at Oxford University, where he spent the majority of his “silent, sedentary, solitary” life. Apparently having failed to obtain a patron, Burton complained of being “left behind, as a dolphin on shore, confined to my College, as Diogenes to his tub.” He became a vicar of St. Thomas’ Church in 1616, writing his Anatomy because he felt obligated to “prescribe means how to prevent and cure so universal a malady” as melancholy. 

All Writing

Voices In Time

1621 | Oxford

Harm Done

Many are called, few are chosen. More

See one promontory (said Socrates of old), one mountain, one sea, one river, and see all.

- Robert Burton,c. 1620

Health indeed is a precious thing, to recover and preserve which we undergo any misery, drink bitter potions, freely give our goods—restore a man to his health, his purse lies open to thee.

- Robert Burton,1621

One religion is as true as another.

- Robert Burton,1621

Voices In Time

1621 | Oxford

Endgames

Robert Burton on the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.More

Voices In Time

1621 | Oxford

The Devil’s Tools

“As fern grows in untilled grounds...so do gross humors in an idle body.”More

What a glut of books! Who can read them? As already, we shall have a vast chaos and confusion of books; we are oppressed with them, our eyes ache with reading, our fingers with turning.

- Robert Burton,1621

Issues Contributed