Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sigh... Another Book... Oh, Well...

Title page to A Treatise of MelancholyIt is hard to be glum today when the summer sun is still shining and the Dartmouth Outing Club's First-Year Trips are about to get started. The next few weeks are a comfortable time on campus: quiet for most of the day, punctuated by outbursts of joyous frivolity courtesy of the DOC Crew in their flair. But it is hard to see the beauty if you are steeped in the pages of A Treatise of Melancholy (London: William Stansby, 1613), our latest acquisition by the inaptly named Timothie Bright.  It explores the causes and treatment of the voguish melancholia of the time, and also takes a look at its "companions," fear, sadness, desperation, and tears.

The first edition of the book was published in 1586 and is thought to have served as source material for Shakespeare. Picture poor Hamlet, and you can imagine Shakespeare reading up on the subject of melancholy. As the first text in English on the subject, A Treatise of Melancholy would have been his best bet.

Take a look at it and contemplate your mental state (and Hamlet's as well) by asking for Rare RC 618.B7 1613.

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