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Goodness me

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 26 October 1989

Margaret, Daughter of Beatrice: A Politician’s Psycho-Biography of Margaret Thatcher 
by Leo Abse.
Cape, 288 pp., £13.95, September 1989, 0 224 02726 3
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... a ‘regressive schizoid phenomenon’. The book undoubtedly scored a few (underhand) hits and Anthony Howard called it a ‘revolutionary’ work. In fact, Private Member was pretty modest by comparison with what we have here. ‘Live dangerously,’ an inauspicious epigraph from Nietzsche insists: ‘Send your ships into uncharted seas! Be robbers and ...


Katherine Duncan-Jones: Nocturnal Plastifications, 12 November 1998

... mind, consciousness and body is notoriously both intimate and inscrutable. In Feet of Clay (1996) Anthony Storr traces a recurring pattern of events in which an individual who has undergone a period of severe illness or depression emerges from it convinced that he can now impart spiritual insight and detailed guidance to mankind on how life should be ...


Peter Campbell, 4 August 1988

Who got Einstein’s office? Eccentricity and Genius at the Institute for Advanced Study 
by Ed Regis.
Simon and Schuster, 316 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 671 69923 7
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by James Gleick.
Heinemann, 354 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 9780434295548
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The School of Genius 
by Anthony Storr.
Deutsch, 216 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 233 98010 5
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... quotation. They are lucky to have such stories, and readers are lucky that they tell them so well. Anthony Storr’s title might lead you to suppose that he would have some insights into the mix of craziness and creativity which gives Regis his subtitle. He does not. He feels obliged to italicise the remark, ‘But this does not mean that solitary ...

Churchill has nothing to hide

Paul Addison, 7 May 1987

Road to Victory: Winston Churchill 1941-1945 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1417 pp., £20, September 1986, 0 434 29186 2
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... kept breaking through. It is always interesting to speculate about motivation. The psychologist Anthony Storr put forward the theory that Churchill was a depressive engaged in a hyperactive struggle to ward off the blues, and the evidence bears this out. Until reading Gilbert I had never quite realised before what a mania Churchill had for travel in ...

Dennis Nilsen, or the Pot of Basil

John Ryle, 21 February 1985

Killing for Company: The Case of Dennis Nilsen 
by Brian Masters.
Cape, 352 pp., £9.95, February 1985, 0 224 02184 2
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by Pickles.
Quartet, 289 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 7043 2439 3
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Ritualised Homosexuality in Melanesia 
edited by Gilbert Herdt.
California, 409 pp., £19.95, October 1984, 0 520 05037 1
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... profession and its pretentions to objective diagnosis. In an instructive postscript to the book Anthony Storr argues that the defence of insanity should be dropped altogether from the statute book, that juries should be called on to decide simply whether the accused committed the crime or not, expert advice being sought only afterwards on the ...

Moderation or Death

Christopher Hitchens: Isaiah Berlin, 26 November 1998

Isaiah Berlin: A Life 
by Michael Ignatieff.
Chatto, 386 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 7011 6325 9
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The Guest from the Future: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin 
by György Dalos.
Murray, 250 pp., £17.95, September 2002, 0 7195 5476 4
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... public, and a recognised ‘act’. In 1978, Berlin wrote a private letter to the psychiatrist Anthony Storr, wondering why he, a beloved only child, should still be visited with the feeling that his many attainments were ‘of very little or of no value’. This takes us some way beyond the pose of false modesty, but nowhere near as far as ...

Keeping the show on the road

John Kerrigan, 6 November 1986

Tribute to Freud 
by H. D.
Carcanet, 194 pp., £5.95, August 1985, 0 85635 599 2
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In Dora’s Case: Freud, Hysteria, Feminism 
edited by Charles Bernheimer and Claire Kahane.
Virago, 291 pp., £11.95, October 1985, 0 86068 712 0
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The Essentials of Psychoanalysis 
by Sigmund Freud, edited by Anna Freud.
Hogarth/Institute of Psychoanalysis, 595 pp., £20, March 1986, 0 7012 0720 5
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Freud and the Humanities 
edited by Peregrine Horden.
Duckworth, 186 pp., £18, October 1985, 0 7156 1983 7
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Freud for Historians 
by Peter Gay.
Oxford, 252 pp., £16.50, January 1986, 0 19 503586 0
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The Psychoanalytic Movement 
by Ernest Gellner.
Paladin, 241 pp., £3.50, May 1985, 0 586 08436 3
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The Freudian Body: Psychoanalysis and Art 
by Leo Bersani.
Columbia, 126 pp., $17.50, April 1986, 0 231 06218 4
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... it into Gombrich’s piece on Schiller, ‘The Symbol of the Veil’, one can only concur with Anthony Storr’s observation, elsewhere in the volume, that psychoanalysis illuminates the traffic between life and art more suggestively than it can the structures of creativity. When H.D. first visited Freud she shocked him by gazing, not at the ...

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