When Robert Boyle, ‘the father of chemistry’, was a young man in the seventeenth century, he suffered from ‘melancholia’, the vogue word then for depression. There was no such thing as psychotherapy in those days, or Prozac, and Boyle was given a series of French romances, or love stories, to cheer him up. According to his letters, the ‘treatment’ didn’t work but it strikes me as an imaginative way to kick-start someone who’s low. It might work better now.

My source: My source: Michael Hunter, Robert Boyle: Between God and Science, Yale University Press, 2009