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Freud's Women Hardcover – January, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Freud has always provoked controversy among feminists. Appignanesi ( Memory and Desire , LJ 1/92) and Forrester ( The Seductions of Psychoanalysis , Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1990) attempt to explain this controversy by looking at the women who were important in Freud's life. Unfortunately, the book is not comprehensive as biography--Peter Gay's Freud: A Life for Our Time (Norton, 1988) is the best choice for information on Freud and his immediate family--nor as a history of analytic thought, since such theorists as Melanie Klein and Karen Horney, whose positions on female development have had a powerful impact on analytic thinking, are not discussed in detail. (These women had no face-to-face contact with Freud.) Paul Roazen's Freud and His Followers ( LJ 9/15/74), while considerably more critical, is a good single source of biographical information on most of the early leading Freudians. Overall, public libraries can generally skip this title; academic libraries that support women's studies programs should consider it for its summary of theories of female psychology.
- Mary Ann Hughes, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“A marvelously rich and engrossing work of intellectual history, deftly composed.”
- Richard Wollheim, The New York Times Book Review

“An ambitious history of Freud’s relationships with women--a lucid, sympathetic account.”
-Times Literary Supplement, Books of the Year

“This wonderful book is the tale of the great twentieth-century love affair with Freudian thought. It is an overblown historical romance that has at its centre the riddle of femininity itself.”
-Suzanne Moore, The Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (January 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465025633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465025633
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,310,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Collaboratively written by Lisa Appignanesi and John Forrester, Freud's Women: Family, Patients, Followers is an exhaustive, in-depth look at the women involved in the life and work of Sigmund Freud, who is often thought of as the father of modern psychology. Freud's many female patients, followers, and family members are surveyed and discussed in an informative blend of biography, history, and study of the founding of psychoanalysis. An exhaustively researched and detailed book, Freud's Women is very highly recommended for the History of Psychoanalysis academic reference collections, and Freudian Psychology supplement reading lists.
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Format: Paperback
When his mother died at age ninety-five, Sigmund Freud confessed he felt freer. Sigi had a nurse but she disappeared, arrested for theft. For Freud the theme of the two mothers, appearing in Leonardo DaVinci's story for one, is a matter of interest. Sigmund Freud had one surviving brother and five sisters. He had two half-brothers, Philipp and Emanuel, a generation older. His sister Anna married Eli Bernays, Sigmund's future wife's older brother. Sisters Rosa, Mitzi, and Pauli married and were widowed. Dolfi remained unmarried. The young Freud was abstemious, repressed. There was a long engagement of Sigmund and Martha Bernays, 1882-1886. The obstacle to marriage was money. Freud opened his practice on Easter Day, 1886. The couple lived together for fifty-three years. There was a pattern of authority and submission, but Martha had her way within the household. There was an agreed upon division of labor. Martha was independently minded, indifferent to Freud's coercive entreaties. The children Mathilde, Martin, Oliver, Ernst, Sophie, and Anna were born in an eight year period. Minna Bernays, Martha's sister, moved into the household permanently in 1896. Sigmund and Minna got on very well. Minna shared Freud's intellectual interests and his tastes for exotic travel.

Freud's friendships with men, Jung, Breuer, Fliess, Adler, Rank, and Ferenczi ended in bitterness. His friendships with women did not terminate in such a manner. Charcot's theories were produced when he was a physician at Salpetriere from the 1850's to the 1880's. Charcot used hypnosis. Charcot died in 1893. Within ten years of his death, his pupils rejected the diagnosis of hysteria. (It is possible psychoanalysis killed off hysteria, a process of psychological gentrification.
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