27 January 2017

#143 Robert Burton

Burton himself says he suffered from melancholy ... At Oxford, when plagued with melancholy, Burton, who seems always to have enjoyed a joke, used to go down to the bridge over the river, and listen to the bargemen swearing at each other. That would always make him laugh, and at once feel better.

Anthony Powell, article "Black Humour" about Robert Burton (author of The Anatomy of Melancholy) in Radio Times; 7 May 1977; reproduced in Miscellaneous Verdicts
Contributed by Levi Stahl