Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    The First American Edition

    Robert Burton. The Anatomy of Melancholy. Philadelphia: T. Wardle, 1836.

    First American edition (first published in London in 1621). Two large octavo volumes. xxiv, 121, [1, blank], 461, [1, blank]; [4], 612 pages. Illustrated with a woodcut vignette portrait of the author and several charts.

    Original purple blindstamped cloth decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt on spines. Spines very slightly faded, minimal rubbing to extremities. Some light foxing, as usual. Volume I with lower blank corner of pages 75/76 torn away (paper flaw?) and with gathering 2H slightly browned. Armorial bookplate of Doggett Daggett on front pastedown. Pencil signature of J. Daggett on front free endpaper. Early ink ownership inscription on front free endpaper of Volume II. A fine set. Housed together in a brown cloth clamshell case.

    More Information:

    "Burton had read much, and all that he had read, or nearly all, was refined and incorporated in the Anatomy. The whole book is elaborately divided and subdivided into partitions, divisions, sections, members and sub-sections. The first partition is devoted to the definition of his subject and its species and kinds, the causes of it and - at length - the symptoms The second deals with the cure, and Burton's demonstration that it is necessary to live in the right part of the world to avoid melancholy occasions a long digression: a delightful account of foreign lands based - for Burton never traveled - on a wide reading of the cosmographers, and a powerful advocacy of the delights of country life. The third part deals with the more frivolous kinds of melancholy and the fourth with the serious, Religious Melancholy. The Anatomy, as its publishing history shows, was one of the most popular books of the seventeenth century. All the learning of the age as well as its humour - and its pedantry - are there. It has something in common with Brant's 'Ship of Fools', Erasmus's 'Praise of Folly', and More's Utopia, with Rabelais and Montaigne, and like all these it exercised a considerable influence on the thought of the time. Dr. Johnson deeply admired it, and Charles Lamb's often and strongly expressed devotion served to rescue the Anatomy from a brief period of oblivion; its admirers will continue to read and re-read it" (Printing and the Mind of Man). American Imprints 26466. Printing and the Mind of Man 120 (the first edition).

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 451

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 October 27 Domain Names Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $614,788