EROTOMANIA, OR A TREATISE DISCOURSING OF THE ESSENCE, CAUSES, SYMPTOMES, PROGNOSTICKS, AND CURE OF LOVE, OR EROTIQUE MELANCHOLY.

(Oxford: Printed by L. Lichfield, 1640). 145 x 95 mm. (5 3/4 x 3 5/8"). 20 p.l., 363 pp. Translated from the French by Edmund Chilmead. FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH.

Contemporary sprinkled sheep, flat spine divided into panels by double blind rules. Front free endpaper with neat early ink inscription in Latin. STC 10829; Madan I, 219. Shallow chip across top of spine, front joint with one-inch crack at head, minor rubbing to joints, other trivial defects, but the unrestored contemporaneous binding sound and not at all displeasing. Light dampstain to head margin throughout, other minor imperfections, but still a very good copy internally, generally clean and fresh, with no significant defects.

First published in Toulouse in 1610, then revised and reissued in Paris in 1623, this discussion of erotic melancholy enraged the Inquisition and inspired Robert Burton. Toulouse-trained physician Jacques Ferrand (b. ca. 1575) defines the symptoms, especially the mood swings from jocundity to deep melancholy, that accompanied unreasonable passions, and recommends treatments to control them, from diet and rigorous exercise to bloodletting. The Inquisition took issue with Ferrand even discussing astrology, chiromancy, and magic--even though he disparaged their claims--and with his frank discussion of sexual health. Perhaps his biggest offense, in their eyes, was treating erotomania as a physical disorder to be treated by medical means when the Church considered it a sickness of the soul curable only by God and his ministers. Madan notes that "If Robert Burton was acquainted with the first edition of this book, as he may well have been, there can be little doubt that he has taken or imitated the general method and treatment of the subject, in his Anatomy of Melancholy". Burton certainly owned a copy of the Paris 1623 edition (N. K. Kiessling, The Library of Robert Burton, Oxford, 1988, no. 566). The translation here is by Edmund Chilmead (1610-54), a serious scholar of music and a cleric at Christ Church, Oxford, who supplemented his meager income by transcribing music, translating books, and cataloguing the collection of Greek manuscripts at the Bodleian Library.
(ST13572)

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PJP Catalog: NY18BF.064

EROTOMANIA, OR A TREATISE DISCOURSING OF THE ESSENCE, CAUSES, SYMPTOMES, PROGNOSTICKS, AND CURE OF LOVE, OR EROTIQUE MELANCHOLY.

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