The New Anatomy Of Melancholy

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
0120200511In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

Writing from Oxford where he was a life-long scholar, librarian of Christ Church and a vicar, Burton drew on the writing of others and also his own experiences.

Writer Amy Liptrot, delves into this remarkable attempt at understanding the human condition to find out what we can learn and how far we have come in four centuries.

In this episode, Amy travels to the Bodleian Library where Burton discovered many of his sources. She meets Dr Katherine Murphy from Oxford’s Faculty of English and together they look at one of Burton’s own early editions of The Anatomy with his hand-scribbled notes.

Cell biologist Lewis Wolpert, whose own struggles with depression led him to write Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression, shares his experiences and what helped him to recover.

Professor David Clark, Chair of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, and one of the pioneers of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), reveals his vision for future treatments of mental health disorders.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, David Clark offers I See a Darkness by Johnny Cash (original: Will Oldham).

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

01Who Is Free From Melancholy?20200511A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

01Who is free from melancholy?20200511In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

Writing from Oxford where he was a life-long scholar, librarian of Christ Church and a vicar, Burton drew on the writing of others and also his own experiences.

Writer Amy Liptrot, delves into this remarkable attempt at understanding the human condition to find out what we can learn and how far we have come in four centuries.

In this episode, Amy travels to the Bodleian Library where Burton discovered many of his sources. She meets Dr Katherine Murphy from Oxford’s Faculty of English and together they look at one of Burton’s own early editions of The Anatomy with his hand-scribbled notes.

Cell biologist Lewis Wolpert, whose own struggles with depression led him to write Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression, shares his experiences and what helped him to recover.

Professor David Clark, Chair of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, and one of the pioneers of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), reveals his vision for future treatments of mental health disorders.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, David Clark offers I See a Darkness by Johnny Cash (original: Will Oldham).

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

0220200512In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot visits the place where Burton was buried in 1640 – Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. She meets Professor John Geddes, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

They explore Burton’s view that melancholy is ‘an hereditary disease’. Are genetics involved in depression and other mental illnesses and how does that work? Amy is curious to know if her former struggle with alcoholism is connected with her dad’s bipolar disorder.

John Geddes reflects on how The Anatomy has inspired him throughout his life as a psychiatrist and researcher into mood disorders, since picking up a copy as a junior doctor in Sheffield.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Jonathan Flint offers John Dowland (English composer, 1563 – 1626).

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

02Hereditary Disease20200512
02Hereditary disease20200512In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot visits the place where Burton was buried in 1640 – Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. She meets Professor John Geddes, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

They explore Burton’s view that melancholy is ‘an hereditary disease’. Are genetics involved in depression and other mental illnesses and how does that work? Amy is curious to know if her former struggle with alcoholism is connected with her dad’s bipolar disorder.

John Geddes reflects on how The Anatomy has inspired him throughout his life as a psychiatrist and researcher into mood disorders, since picking up a copy as a junior doctor in Sheffield.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Jonathan Flint offers John Dowland (English composer, 1563 – 1626).

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

0320200513In 1621, the English scholar Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience: melancholy

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot looks at the latest research into the links between inflammation and depression, and finding connections with Burton’s identification of an ‘inflamed brain’ as a cause.

She meets Professor Edward Bullmore, Head of Psychiatry at Cambridge University, and author of The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression to find out how the immune system and responses to stress may be causes of some kinds of depression and how this could offer new treatment targets.

Amy’s explorations take her to Rydal Waters in The Lake District where she joins kindred spirit and wild swimming guide Suzanna Cruickshank for a bracing swim and where they share their experiences of cold water swimming and the benefits it has brought them both.

Swimming is a cure that Burton uncovers and adds to his Anatomy of Melancholy: ‘Cadan alone commends bathing in fresh rivers, and cold water, and adviseth all such as mean to live long to use it, for it agrees with all ages and complexion and is most profitable for hot temperatures.’

Is there any chance this could link with inflammation and our responses to stress?

Dr Mike Tipton, Director of Research in the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth, shares the latest science behind the question.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Suzanna Cruickshank offers Status Quo, Pictures of Matchstick Men.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

03Inflamed Brain20200513
03Inflamed brain20200513In 1621, the English scholar Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience: melancholy

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot looks at the latest research into the links between inflammation and depression, and finding connections with Burton’s identification of an ‘inflamed brain’ as a cause.

She meets Professor Edward Bullmore, Head of Psychiatry at Cambridge University, and author of The Inflamed Mind: A Radical New Approach to Depression to find out how the immune system and responses to stress may be causes of some kinds of depression and how this could offer new treatment targets.

Amy’s explorations take her to Rydal Waters in The Lake District where she joins kindred spirit and wild swimming guide Suzanna Cruickshank for a bracing swim and where they share their experiences of cold water swimming and the benefits it has brought them both.

Swimming is a cure that Burton uncovers and adds to his Anatomy of Melancholy: ‘Cadan alone commends bathing in fresh rivers, and cold water, and adviseth all such as mean to live long to use it, for it agrees with all ages and complexion and is most profitable for hot temperatures.’

Is there any chance this could link with inflammation and our responses to stress?

Dr Mike Tipton, Director of Research in the Extreme Environments Laboratory at the University of Portsmouth, shares the latest science behind the question.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Suzanna Cruickshank offers Status Quo, Pictures of Matchstick Men.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

0420200514In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot explores what Burton described as ‘the horrible kind of melancholy...most usually caused from some imminent danger'. Remarkably, he describes in great detail the symptoms that we would now associate with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Amy visits the Manchester Resilience Hub, which was set up in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack, and meets Alex, a young survivor who shares her experiences and the therapies that have helped her recover.

Psychologists at the Hub, Clare Jones and Dr Alan Barrett, discuss the different approaches taken to normal mental health services by the Hub.

Professor Emily Holmes from Uppsala University in Sweden and specialist in trauma offers an insight into how PTSD can lead to melancholy, sadness and low mood.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Dr Alan Barrett offers Robbing Myself by Ted Hughes (from Birthday Letters) and Clare Jones offers Wires by Athlete.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4.

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

04Terrors And Affrights20200514
04Terrors and affrights20200514In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot explores what Burton described as ‘the horrible kind of melancholy...most usually caused from some imminent danger'. Remarkably, he describes in great detail the symptoms that we would now associate with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Amy visits the Manchester Resilience Hub, which was set up in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack, and meets Alex, a young survivor who shares her experiences and the therapies that have helped her recover.

Psychologists at the Hub, Clare Jones and Dr Alan Barrett, discuss the different approaches taken to normal mental health services by the Hub.

Professor Emily Holmes from Uppsala University in Sweden and specialist in trauma offers an insight into how PTSD can lead to melancholy, sadness and low mood.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Dr Alan Barrett offers Robbing Myself by Ted Hughes (from Birthday Letters) and Clare Jones offers Wires by Athlete.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4.

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

0520200515In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience: melancholy.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot examines the effect of poverty and inequality on our mental health. It is something that Burton identified as ‘the fountain of all other miseries, cares, woes, labours, and grievances'.

We hear from Sonny in central London who is at the sharp end of poverty today.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity, shares his insights into how poverty and inequality can impact children’s mental and physical health, reflecting on images of families living in single rooms in London on display at The Foundling Museum.

Professor Kate Pickett, from the University of York and co-author of The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone's Well-Being, reveals how those at the top of society can also be negatively affected by inequality.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Kate Pickett offers Between the Wars by Billy Bragg.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

05Poverty And Want20200515
05Poverty and want20200515In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience: melancholy.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot examines the effect of poverty and inequality on our mental health. It is something that Burton identified as ‘the fountain of all other miseries, cares, woes, labours, and grievances'.

We hear from Sonny in central London who is at the sharp end of poverty today.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity, shares his insights into how poverty and inequality can impact children’s mental and physical health, reflecting on images of families living in single rooms in London on display at The Foundling Museum.

Professor Kate Pickett, from the University of York and co-author of The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone's Well-Being, reveals how those at the top of society can also be negatively affected by inequality.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Kate Pickett offers Between the Wars by Billy Bragg.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

0620200518In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot unpicks Burton’s references to plants and herbs with their potential to ‘cure’ melancholy. He lists copious varieties for their medicinal properties and therapeutic value: ‘The best medicine, that e’re God made / For this malady, if well assay’d.’

Burton also recognises the importance of physical exercise that gardening or tending to the land brings: ‘Others enjoin those wholesome businesses, as to dig so long in his garden, to hold the plough, and the like.’

Amy visits Emma Mitchell who has written and illustrated The Wild Remedy. Trained as a scientist, Emma is investigating the reasons behind why her daily walks have become an essential part of staving off depression. Are there any links with Burton’s enthusiasm for herbs as a remedy for melancholy?

Monty Don, gardener and broadcaster, talks from the heart of his jewel garden about his own struggles with depression and how gardening has been a lifeline.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Emma Mitchell offers an extract from Four Hedges – A Gardener’s Chronicle (1935) by Clare Leighton.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

06Variety Of Objects, Herbs, Trees20200518
06Variety of objects, herbs, trees20200518In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot unpicks Burton’s references to plants and herbs with their potential to ‘cure’ melancholy. He lists copious varieties for their medicinal properties and therapeutic value: ‘The best medicine, that e’re God made / For this malady, if well assay’d.’

Burton also recognises the importance of physical exercise that gardening or tending to the land brings: ‘Others enjoin those wholesome businesses, as to dig so long in his garden, to hold the plough, and the like.’

Amy visits Emma Mitchell who has written and illustrated The Wild Remedy. Trained as a scientist, Emma is investigating the reasons behind why her daily walks have become an essential part of staving off depression. Are there any links with Burton’s enthusiasm for herbs as a remedy for melancholy?

Monty Don, gardener and broadcaster, talks from the heart of his jewel garden about his own struggles with depression and how gardening has been a lifeline.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Emma Mitchell offers an extract from Four Hedges – A Gardener’s Chronicle (1935) by Clare Leighton.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

0720200519In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot taps into the theme of connection and friendship that runs through Burton’s book on melancholy.

Gemma Cairney, broadcaster and author of advice books for young people, shares her thoughts on loneliness, social media and changing relationships in the 21st century. She is a great believer in the power of friendship, like Burton: ‘The best way for ease is to impart our misery to some friend, not to smother it up in our own breast.’

Dr Amy Orben, from the University of Cambridge, researchers the effect of social media on young people. She reveals how the picture is much more nuanced than we might think.

Professor Frances Rice from Cardiff University and Dr Daisy Fancourt from UCL discuss innovative approaches to depression including behavioural activation and social prescribing. Is it possible that knowledge of these approaches can be found in Burton’s Anatomy?

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Gemma Cairney offers the song Creshendorious by Brigitte Aphrodite.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

07Mirth And Merry Company20200519
07Mirth and merry company20200519In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot taps into the theme of connection and friendship that runs through Burton’s book on melancholy.

Gemma Cairney, broadcaster and author of advice books for young people, shares her thoughts on loneliness, social media and changing relationships in the 21st century. She is a great believer in the power of friendship, like Burton: ‘The best way for ease is to impart our misery to some friend, not to smother it up in our own breast.’

Dr Amy Orben, from the University of Cambridge, researchers the effect of social media on young people. She reveals how the picture is much more nuanced than we might think.

Professor Frances Rice from Cardiff University and Dr Daisy Fancourt from UCL discuss innovative approaches to depression including behavioural activation and social prescribing. Is it possible that knowledge of these approaches can be found in Burton’s Anatomy?

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Gemma Cairney offers the song Creshendorious by Brigitte Aphrodite.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

0820200520In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot grapples with a dilemma close to Robert Burton’s heart - learning as a remedy for melancholy, but also as a cause if pursued ‘overmuch’.

As a single man living at Christ Church, Oxford, devoted to his scholarly labours on melancholy, Burton knew that the absorption in his subject gave him motivation and purpose. But he also knew that this ‘solitary, sedentary’ occupation was a major risk factor for the blues.

Amy speaks to Professor Anne Duffy from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, about the latest research into student mental health, and hears from Henry and Emma, PhD students who have both overcome struggles with anxiety and low mood to find a study-life-balance that works for them.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Henry offers the poem New Every Morning by Susan Coolidge.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

08Love Of Learning Or Overmuch Study20200520
08Love of learning or overmuch study20200520In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot grapples with a dilemma close to Robert Burton’s heart - learning as a remedy for melancholy, but also as a cause if pursued ‘overmuch’.

As a single man living at Christ Church, Oxford, devoted to his scholarly labours on melancholy, Burton knew that the absorption in his subject gave him motivation and purpose. But he also knew that this ‘solitary, sedentary’ occupation was a major risk factor for the blues.

Amy speaks to Professor Anne Duffy from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, about the latest research into student mental health, and hears from Henry and Emma, PhD students who have both overcome struggles with anxiety and low mood to find a study-life-balance that works for them.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Henry offers the poem New Every Morning by Susan Coolidge.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

0920200521In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot finds out more about the effects of sleep and music on our mood. Like many new parents, sleep deprivation has been a challenge for Amy since the birth of her son, while music and singing has taken on new meaning with its potential to soothe and lift the mood.

Colin Espie, Professor of Sleep Medicine at Oxford University, offers insights into how issues with sleep can affect mood. It’s long been acknowledged that sleep problems can be a symptom of depression, but can they also be a cause? Robert Burton, is in no doubt.

Recently, Amy has discovered singing as a new way to lift her spirits. It is a remedy that Burton champions. She rejoins the singing group which was a lifeline in the early baby days to talk to Liz Powers about why singing in close harmony can have a calming, restorative effect.

Nearby, at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, singing is being taken to the wards as a mood-booster for staff and families and children who want to join in. We hear from staff about what it means to them.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Liz Powers offers Everybody Hurts by R.E.M..

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

09Moderate Sleep And Divine Music20200521
09Moderate sleep and divine music20200521In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot finds out more about the effects of sleep and music on our mood. Like many new parents, sleep deprivation has been a challenge for Amy since the birth of her son, while music and singing has taken on new meaning with its potential to soothe and lift the mood.

Colin Espie, Professor of Sleep Medicine at Oxford University, offers insights into how issues with sleep can affect mood. It’s long been acknowledged that sleep problems can be a symptom of depression, but can they also be a cause? Robert Burton, is in no doubt.

Recently, Amy has discovered singing as a new way to lift her spirits. It is a remedy that Burton champions. She rejoins the singing group which was a lifeline in the early baby days to talk to Liz Powers about why singing in close harmony can have a calming, restorative effect.

Nearby, at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, singing is being taken to the wards as a mood-booster for staff and families and children who want to join in. We hear from staff about what it means to them.

As Burton drew on the writing of others and made a patchwork of texts within his Anatomy of Melancholy, each episode ends with a modern-day contribution for a new and updated Anatomy of Melancholy.

In this episode, Liz Powers offers Everybody Hurts by R.E.M..

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

1020200522In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot concludes the series by bringing our focus back to Burton. Why did he write thousands upon thousands of words on melancholy? What urged him on to seek out every reference to melancholy he could find in the libraries of Oxford? And why did he – unusually for the time - reveal his own vulnerability to the condition?

Dr Christopher Tilmouth from Cambridge University sheds light on Burton’s personal struggles - the vulnerabilities that keep drawing him back to this ‘edifice of learning’.

Rachel Kelly, writer and mental health campaigner, reveals the solace that The Anatomy has brought her over dark times.

Novelist Rob Paulk reflects on his own reading of The Anatomy and why Burton isn’t simply ‘writing of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy'.

Psychiatrist John Geddes shares what he thinks Burton’s text can offer us during contemporary, troubled times.

Finally, Amy considers her own epic journey into exploring the vast book and its insights for us all today.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

10For The Common Good Of All20200522
10For the common good of all20200522In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

In this episode, writer Amy Liptrot concludes the series by bringing our focus back to Burton. Why did he write thousands upon thousands of words on melancholy? What urged him on to seek out every reference to melancholy he could find in the libraries of Oxford? And why did he – unusually for the time - reveal his own vulnerability to the condition?

Dr Christopher Tilmouth from Cambridge University sheds light on Burton’s personal struggles - the vulnerabilities that keep drawing him back to this ‘edifice of learning’.

Rachel Kelly, writer and mental health campaigner, reveals the solace that The Anatomy has brought her over dark times.

Novelist Rob Paulk reflects on his own reading of The Anatomy and why Burton isn’t simply ‘writing of melancholy by being busy to avoid melancholy'.

Psychiatrist John Geddes shares what he thinks Burton’s text can offer us during contemporary, troubled times.

Finally, Amy considers her own epic journey into exploring the vast book and its insights for us all today.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

1120200515In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

Writing from Oxford where he was a life-long scholar, librarian of Christ Church and a vicar, Burton drew on the writing of others and also his own experiences.

In this omnibus, writer Amy Liptrot, puts causes of melancholy identified by Robert Burton under the spotlight.

Professor John Geddes, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Oxford, joins Amy at Christ Church Cathedral where Burton is buried to discuss the links between genetics and depression.

Amy takes a swim in Rydal Waters in the Lake District and investigates a new avenue of research linking inflammation and depression.

A survivor from the Manchester Arena attack shares her experience of post-traumatic stress disorder and the ways in which the innovative Manchester Resilience Hub have helped her recover. How is PTSD linked with depression or low mood?

And Amy looks at whether poverty and inequality, cited as a cause for melancholy by Burton, are reasons for depression in today’s society?

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Sound design: Alice K. Winz
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

11Omnibus: Causes20200515
11Omnibus: Causes20200515In 1621, Robert Burton published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience.

Writing from Oxford where he was a life-long scholar, librarian of Christ Church and a vicar, Burton drew on the writing of others and also his own experiences.

In this omnibus, writer Amy Liptrot, puts causes of melancholy identified by Robert Burton under the spotlight.

Professor John Geddes, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Oxford, joins Amy at Christ Church Cathedral where Burton is buried to discuss the links between genetics and depression.

Amy takes a swim in Rydal Waters in the Lake District and investigates a new avenue of research linking inflammation and depression.

A survivor from the Manchester Arena attack shares her experience of post-traumatic stress disorder and the ways in which the innovative Manchester Resilience Hub have helped her recover. How is PTSD linked with depression or low mood?

And Amy looks at whether poverty and inequality, cited as a cause for melancholy by Burton, are reasons for depression in today’s society?

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Sound design: Alice K. Winz
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

1220200522In 1621 the English scholar, Robert Burton, published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience: melancholy.

Writing from Oxford where he was a life-long scholar, librarian of Christ Church and a vicar, Burton drew on the writing of others and also his own experiences.

In this omnibus, writer Amy Liptrot looks at some of the cures of melancholy identified by Robert Burton.

Are there any links with Burton’s enthusiasm for herbs as a remedy for melancholy and gardening or connecting with nature today? Amy meets writer Emma Mitchell and gardener and broadcaster Monty Don.

What about friendship, mirth and merry company as Burton put it? Broadcaster Gemma Cairney shares her reflections on the importance of friends and joy.

And Burton is torn between ‘a love of learning’ and ‘overmuch study’. How can today’s students find the right balance?

As a new parent, Amy is curious to know how problems with sleep can affect our mood and also how music can help soothe frazzled nerves and lift our spirits. She talks to sleep expert Professor Colin Espie. We hear singing from the wards of Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Finally, who really was Robert Burton, why was he moved to write this epic book that has so much relevance for us today?

Across the centuries, he passes the baton over to us.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Sound design: Alice K. Winz
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.

12Omnibus: Cures20200522
12Omnibus: Cures20200522In 1621 the English scholar, Robert Burton, published The Anatomy of Melancholy. It was the first attempt in the modern western world to understand and categorise causes, symptoms and treatments of that universal human experience: melancholy.

Writing from Oxford where he was a life-long scholar, librarian of Christ Church and a vicar, Burton drew on the writing of others and also his own experiences.

In this omnibus, writer Amy Liptrot looks at some of the cures of melancholy identified by Robert Burton.

Are there any links with Burton’s enthusiasm for herbs as a remedy for melancholy and gardening or connecting with nature today? Amy meets writer Emma Mitchell and gardener and broadcaster Monty Don.

What about friendship, mirth and merry company as Burton put it? Broadcaster Gemma Cairney shares her reflections on the importance of friends and joy.

And Burton is torn between ‘a love of learning’ and ‘overmuch study’. How can today’s students find the right balance?

As a new parent, Amy is curious to know how problems with sleep can affect our mood and also how music can help soothe frazzled nerves and lift our spirits. She talks to sleep expert Professor Colin Espie. We hear singing from the wards of Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Finally, who really was Robert Burton, why was he moved to write this epic book that has so much relevance for us today?

Across the centuries, he passes the baton over to us.

Simon Russell Beale brings the voice of Robert Burton to life with extracts from The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Presenter: Amy Liptrot
Reader: Simon Russell Beale
Sound design: Alice K. Winz
Producer: Ruth Abrahams
Series consultant: John Geddes

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

A 400-year-old guide to melancholy. What can it teach us today?

A new guide to what it is to suffer melancholy in the 21st century.