This book, first published in 1637, was the first full-length treatise on suicide published in English. Originally published in 1988 as part of the Tavistock Classics in the History of Psychiatry series, the introduction by Michael MacDonald places the book in the context of attitudes to suicide in its day, as well as showing some of the ways that this theological book is also a study of the psychology and sociology of suicide. He discusses the evolution of the law of suicide and analyses the religious beliefs held about it at the time, before going on to look at John Sym himself and the structure of his book.

chapter 1|3 pages

The general description of Self-murder

chapter 2|1 pages

Of the kindes of the life of man

chapter 3|5 pages

Of naturall life in generall

chapter 4|14 pages

Of mans naturall life more specially

chapter 5|23 pages

Of mans spirituall life

chapter 7|5 pages

Of murder, as it is of ones selfe

chapter 8|24 pages

Of spirituall self-murder in speciall

chapter 9|5 pages

Of bodily self-murder in speciall

chapter 10|7 pages

Of the kindes of bodily self-murder

chapter 11|69 pages

Of Indirect self-murder of the body

chapter 12|16 pages

Of direct bodily self-murder

chapter 13|8 pages

Of direct self-murderers

chapter 19|16 pages

Antidotes for prevention of self-murder