Robert Burton and the problems of polymathy

  title={Robert Burton and the problems of polymathy},
  author={Kathryn Murphy},
  journal={Renaissance Studies},
Robert Burton called his period ‘this scribling age’, in which the copiousness of printed matter and the multitude of authors caused problems both of discernment – how to distinguish true scholars from intellectual quacks? – and of quantity: how can the scholar hope to master the ‘vast Chaos and confusion of Bookes’? This article addresses Burton's engagement with these questions, and examines both his attempt to establish a polymathic persona, and the relationship of the Anatomy to other… 
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The cornucopian text : problems of writing in the French Renaissance
This seminal book examines the interaction of literary practice and theory in 16th-century France in the context of the great Renaissance writers, Erasmus, Rabelais, Ronsard, and Montaigne.
World of the Polyhistors
    Impartiality and the Early Modern ars critica in John Selden's Historie of Tithes (1618)
    • The Emergence of Impartiality
    • 2002
    Compare with Geoffrey Hill
    • 2008
    Adages Ii1 to Iv100, trans. Margaret Mann Phillips, Collected Works of Erasmus
    • I. v
    • 1982
    335-41, though for caution in suggesting direct influence, see Mary Murphy Schmelzer
    • Tis All One: The Anatomy of Melancholy as Belated Copious Discourse
    • 1967
    52 Another account proposes, contrarily, that the butt of Burton's ire in this passage was, as in Philosophaster, Catholic or Jesuit scholarship. 53 With his jibe at 'Polyanthean helpes
      was the correlation of Ramist ideas and intellectual impoverishment more pronounced than in the realm of petty compendia
        Textual Introduction', in Anatomy i.xxxviii. 66 On the shift see Betty Knott's 'Introductory Note' to Erasmus
          See Nettles, An Answer to the Jewish Part of Mr Selden's History of Tithes