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Poor Darwin

Harriet Ritvo, 26 July 1990

Charles Darwin: A New Biography 
by John Bowlby.
Hutchinson, 511 pp., £19.95, June 1990, 0 09 174229 3
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... that it is often referred to as ‘the Darwin industry’. Although based on the same sources, John Bowlby’s ‘new biography’ of Darwin falls outside the industrial mainstream. For one thing, contemporary Darwin scholarship has not usually concerned itself with conventional biographical issues. (This is not to suggest that such attention to ...

Embarrassment and Loss

Marghanita Laski, 19 February 1981

A Way to Die 
by Rosemary Zorza.
Deutsch, 254 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 233 97355 9
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Letter to a Younger Son 
by Christopher Leach.
Dent, 155 pp., £5.95, January 1981, 0 460 04496 6
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by Colin Murray Parkes.
Pelican, 267 pp., £1.50, June 1980, 0 14 021833 5
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... which people struggle to make a life after crushing grief, and, for a writer, not an uncommon way. John Evelyn did the same thing when his daughter, Margaret Godolphin, died in 1678, but wiser, I think, than these, he did not publish. Of these two books, the Zorzas’ is the worse, and for the sad reason that it is, in the literal sense, the more ...

What is there to lose?

Adam Phillips, 24 May 1990

Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia 
by Julia Kristeva, translated by Leon Roudiez.
Columbia, 300 pp., $33.50, October 1989, 0 231 06706 2
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Surviving trauma: Loss, Literature and Psychoanalysis 
by David Aberbach.
Yale, 192 pp., £16.95, February 1990, 0 300 04557 3
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... is oddly impressed by how much Great Writers in the past knew about loss without having read John Bowlby. If new disciplines like psychoanalysis thrive initially on fantasies of purity, they can only be sustained by what looks like contamination. And it is not surprising, given the radical uncertainty of the clinical enterprise – and talking with ...

Tough Morsels

Peter Rudnytsky, 7 November 1991

The Freud-Klein Controversies 1941-45 
edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner.
Routledge, 958 pp., £100, December 1990, 0 415 03170 2
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... to reconcile herself to his view that Glover was his only conceivable successor. One candidate, John Rickman, Jones ruled out because he lacked sufficient force to be an effective administrator. Quoting a letter from Jones to Klein, dated 6 April 1941, in which Jones terms Glover ‘the only medical analyst who can appear before a non-analytic audience ...
The Mind’s I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul 
edited by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett.
Harvester, 448 pp., £9.95, November 1981, 0 7108 0352 4
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... past, not of the yet-to-be-experienced future. It is the world of the past which constitutes what John Bowlby has called ‘the environment of adaptiveness’. And, as Alice discovered when she observed the croquet game in Wonderland, outside the environment of adaptiveness anything can happen. Examples abound, not merely in fantasies and ...

The pleasure of not being there

Peter Brooks, 18 November 1993

Benjamin Constant: A Biography 
by Dennis Wood.
Routledge, 321 pp., £40, June 1993, 0 415 01937 0
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Isabelle de Charrière (Belle de Zuylen): A Biography 
by C.P Courtney.
Voltaire Foundation, 810 pp., £49, August 1993, 0 7294 0439 0
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... demanding. In a perceptive if slightly laboured chapter that draws largely on the clinical work of John Bowlby, Wood describes Constant’s childhood – which included learning Greek at the age of five from a sadistic tutor – and its role in forming a personality characterised by an obsession with death, by uncertainty and indecision, and by a general ...


Rosemary Dinnage: Evacuees, 14 October 1999

... Mr Cholmondeley-Featherstonehaugh.) And the realisation of what separation means, put forward by John Bowlby and others, ended the disastrous practice of keeping parents away from child patients in hospitals. In North London, more was being learned about children separated from their families. At Anna Freud’s Hampstead Nurseries, first set up as a ...

Best of British

Nicholas Penny, 2 December 1993

by John McEwen and John Haddington.
Canongate, 96 pp., £20, November 1993, 0 08 624324 1
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Henry Moore: An Interpretation 
by Peter Fuller, edited by Anthony O’Hear.
Methuen, 98 pp., £16, September 1993, 9780413676207
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... the wild landscape of the estate he owned in south-west Scotland. The setting is commemorated by John Haddington’s fine photographs, and the initiative richly documented by John McEwen (Keswick’s nephew), in Glenkiln. The sculpture by Moore which is most eloquent in this context is the bronze seated King and Queen of ...


Adam Phillips: ‘Down Girl’, 7 March 2019

Down Girl: the Logic of Misogyny 
by Kate Manne.
Penguin, 338 pp., £9.99, March 2019, 978 0 14 199072 9
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... respect from the prominent British child analysts Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott and John Bowlby. Questions were asked about the significance of the father in child development, and family therapy opened up the family as a system rather than a cult of personality. At the same time we were encouraged to believe that everything depended on ...

Divorce me

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 17 December 1981

Love, Sex, Marriage and Divorce 
by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy.
Cape, 384 pp., £8.50, November 1981, 0 224 01602 4
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... place in the family. Father.’ The ideology of the Fifties was the ideology of Winnicott and Bowlby: ‘Winnicott, a brilliant child psychologist, raised the mother’s role, especially the role of her breast, to lyrical heights ... It seems possible that Winnicott wanted to be a nursing mother.’ It seems even more possible that Gathorne-Hardy wants to ...


Jacqueline Rose, 19 June 2014

The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women 
by Elisabeth Badinter, translated by Adriana Hunter.
Picador, 224 pp., £10.99, June 2013, 978 1 250 03209 6
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Are You My Mother? 
by Alison Bechdel.
Jonathan Cape, 304 pp., £16.99, May 2012, 978 0 224 09352 1
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A Child of One’s Own: Parental Stories 
by Rachel Bowlby.
Oxford, 256 pp., £20, June 2013, 978 0 19 960794 5
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Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome 
by Lauren Hackworth Petersen and Patricia Salzman-Mitchell.
Texas, 274 pp., £16.99, April 2013, 978 0 292 75434 8
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Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? Unmarried Motherhood in 20th-Century England 
by Pat Thane and Tanya Evans.
Oxford, 240 pp., £24.99, August 2013, 978 0 19 968198 3
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I Don’t Know Why She Bothers: Guilt-Free Motherhood for Thoroughly Modern Womanhood 
by Daisy Waugh.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.99, July 2013, 978 0 297 86876 7
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... on her lap. At a gathering of British psychoanalysts, students and academics organised by John Forrester in the 1980s the French psychoanalyst Jean Laplanche asked why there are no artistic representations of the erotic pleasure a mother gains in breastfeeding her child. Behind that question was another one. Why does the psychoanalytic representation ...


David Hoy, 23 November 1989

Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question 
by Jacques Derrida, translated by Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby.
Chicago, 139 pp., £15.95, September 1989, 0 226 14317 1
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... distinction. In response to some of Derrida’s earlier writings, some critics (including John Searle) suggested that Derrida did not keep the boundary between use and mention clear. Derrida’s response has been, repeatedly, to show that he is aware of the distinction, and indeed, that he likes to play with it deliberately. This response would have ...

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