Freud's Mistress

Freud's Mistress

A Novel

Large Print - 2013
Average Rating:
5
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Minna Bernays is an overeducated woman with limited options. Fired yet again for speaking her mind, she finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895 Vienna, even though the city is aswirl with avant-garde artists and writers and revolutionaries, there are still very few options for women besides marriage. And settling is not something Minna has ever done. Out of desperation, Minna turns to her older sister, Martha, for help. But Martha has her own problems -- six young children, a host of physical ailments, a household run with military precision, and an absent, overworked, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses, urges, and perversions. While Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband's "pornographic" work, Minna is fascinated. Minna is everything Martha is not -- intellectually curious, an avid reader, stunning. But while she and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape.
Publisher: Detroit :, Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning,, 2013
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410461971
1410461971
Branch Call Number: LPF MAC NVD
Characteristics: 517 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Kaufman, Jennifer

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KennethRossHalvorson Aug 10, 2014

Freud was such a jerk that he spoiled
a nicely written story.

o
odettewright
Jun 01, 2014

A thoroughly enjoyable book, well written and thought-provoking

m
maipenrai
Feb 20, 2014

1 1/2 * stars. Minna Bernays is an overeducated woman with limited options. Fired yet again for speaking her mind, she finds herself out on the street with few options. In 1895 Vienna, marriage and family are are regarded as the primary role for women. Minna wants more. Out of desperation, Minna turns to her older sister, Martha, for help. But Martha has her own problems ? six young children, a host of physical ailments, a household run with military precision, and an absent, overworked, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. At this point he is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses, urges, and perversions. While Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband?s "pornographic" work, Minna is fascinated. She is everything Martha is not ?intellectually curious, an avid reader, and stunning. But while she and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape. *** As a former teacher of psychology I had not heard about this aspect of Freud's life. The book is factually based and certainly provides an interesting look at Freud's view of women. This is not a bad book, but I did not really bond with anyone. I think I would have been happier reading a good biography of Freud that looked more at his private life. I have certainly read enough about his psychological theories and their development. I think I simply chose the wrong book to read. Cannot recommend.

j
joalo
Jan 15, 2014

Right on BlueHippo!
All the same, a good glimpse of the times and Viennese society then….whether or not of Freud himself...

b
BlueHippo
Oct 19, 2013

Good read. Although fiction and a lot of the details had to be speculation, the authors explain the facts on which they base the story. I know that this was a different times and culture, but I must admit I came away from the book with a less than stellar image of Freud and a question as to how this woman (Minna) could have been so stupid! (What did she think was going to happen at the "spa" and why didn't she just leave and head for her brother's in America before her appointment day? After all, who was the spa there to please-her or Freud?-he was paying the bills after all). It's amazing how Minna was okay with being used by both her sister and Freud. She was basically a slave to her sister and I bet her sister also felt that it was better to have her husband cavorting with her sister than some other woman I also wonder if Freud's relationship with some of the men he worked with was more than just professional. I was just struck by how these well-educated and obviously smart people could do such stupid things, fail to see their own situations, and make such a mess of their lives.

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