Posted on June 30, 2021 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

A book coming out tomorrow purports to have (almost) cracked the code on a 400-year-old text.

The Anatomy of Melancholy, by Robert Burton, uses more than 13,000 quotations and enigmatic references to discuss the causes of, symptoms of, and cures for melancholy — an umbrella term for any mental condition.

Dr. Angus Gowland of University College London is happy to report, though, that only nine mysteries remain; the rest will be explained in his upcoming annotated version of The Anatomy of Melancholy.

In the centuries preceding this decryption, authors such as John Keats, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf have expressed their admiration for the book.

Gowland has shared some of his insights into The Anatomy of Melancholy with the Observer.

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