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Guises of Desire
 
 

Guises of Desire [Kindle Edition]

Hilda Reilly
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Review

"Hilda Reilly has written a vivid, powerful and highly readable version of Bertha's story. The emotional turmoil of her experiences is empathetically portrayed against a carefully researched period setting and medical background. An absorbing and thought-provoking book." Scientific and Medical Network Review

“Reilly’s skilful writing and thorough research offer an empathetic portrayal of the vulnerable patient who had an abnormal attachment to the doctor who misdiagnosed her. Dark and distressing, but equally interesting, powerful, and educational.”  The Lady

"Hilda Reilly has written a novel of immense significance - a must read for anyone interested in the history of psychoanalysis." Dr Terry Marks-Tarlow, author of Clinical Intuition in Psychotherapy

"This is a wonderful stroll through the Jewish culture of Vienna at the turn of the century, holding the hand of 'Anna O,' psychiatry's most famous patient, all the way." Dr Edward Shorter, Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine, University of Toronto

"This book is a gift to anyone interested in psychoanalysis and the textures of human experience. I was moved reading it and in awe of the breadth of its scope." Dr Deborah Serani, author of Living with Depression

‘This is a story, and a message, that desperately needs to be heard.’ Dr Neel Burton, author of The Meaning of Madness

"Even famous people have day to day lives and it is in the story of their lives that we begin to feel what it might have been like to be in their shoes. Hilda Reilly gives us the gift of Bertha Pappenheim's lived experience." Richard Hill, Director, MindScience Institute

"...we can be glad that the sympathetic Hilda Reilly has wrested the famous "Anna O" from the hands of clinicians and made her a whole woman again." The Herald Scotland

Product Description

Vienna 1880. A wealthy young Jewish woman succumbs to a mysterious illness. Diagnosis hysteria. Her doctor, Josef Breuer, treats her with hypnosis and a new form of therapy called the 'talking cure'.
Guises of Desire is a vividly imagined account of the case of Bertha Pappenheim – the ‘Anna O’ whose treatment formed the basis of Freudian psychoanalysis. It presents the story of a young woman’s struggle to survive a repressive upbringing, neurological disorders, drug addiction and a pathological attachment to the doctor who misdiagnosed her

REVIEWS

"Hilda Reilly has written a novel of immense significance--a must read for anyone interested in the history of psychoanalysis." – Dr Terry Marks-Tarlow, author of Clinical Intuition in Psychotherapy: The Neurobiology of Embodied Response

"Hilda Reilly has written a vivid, powerful and highly readable version of Bertha’s story. The emotional turmoil of her experiences is empathetically portrayed against a carefully researched period setting and medical background. An absorbing and thought-provoking book." — Scientific and Medical Network Review

"This is a wonderful stroll through the Jewish culture of Vienna at the turn of the century, holding the hand of 'Anna O,' psychiatry's most famous patient, all the way. The local color is perfect, and Anna O becomes a believable and highly sympathetic young woman.” – Dr Edward Shorter, Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto

“Reilly’s skilful writing and thorough research offer an empathetic portrayal of the vulnerable patient who had an abnormal attachment to the doctor who misdiagnosed her. Dark and distressing, but equally interesting, powerful, and educational.” The Lady

“Thanks to Hilda Reilly, Anna O. is no longer a name or a label but a real person with thoughts and feelings. Her trials and tribulations did not fit into neat diagnostic categories or reductive models of mental disorder, but reflected the aspirations, expectations, fears and taboos of the culture and society in which she lived. It is refreshing to see her side of the story, which highlights both the ambition and the limitations of psychiatry. This is a story, and a message, that desperately needs to be heard.”—Dr Neel Burton, psychiatrist and author of The Meaning of Madness

“Reilly's work is a vital contribution to understanding the birth and growth of psychoanalysis. But I also believe it's something more. It brings a soulful insight beyond the constraints of a clinical lens and allows the flawed and beautiful life of Pappenheim to take center stage. This book is a gift to anyone interested in psychoanalysis and the textures of human experience. I was moved reading it and in awe of the breadth of its scope.” – Dr Deborah Serani, author of Living with Depression.

“Historic figures often become reduced to selected details. Bertha Pappenheim is notable for many things and it is easy to forget that such people are, indeed, people. Even famous people have day to day lives and it is in the story of their lives that we begin to feel what it might have been like to be in their shoes. Hilda Reilly gives us the gift of Bertha Pappeheim's lived experience. Reilly takes us through the difficult years of the 1880's when her mental health suffered. We traverse through the mysteries of hypnotism, hysteria and hallucinations. Bertha's life was to be much more than just as a victim, but I suspect that is another book to come!” – Richard Hill, Director, The MindScience Institute

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 430 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Dicatur Press (12 Nov 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A6T0CN0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #384,517 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating Guises of Desire 23 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Guises of Desire offers a fascinating insight into the beginnings of psychotherapy. The book is both interesting and captivating: Interesting, because Reilly's obviously detailed research pays dividends and captivating, because the well drawn character of Bertha demands that the reader lives through her trials and tribulations.
If you enjoyed "A Dangerous Method", you will love "Guises of Desire".
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Format:Paperback
Guises of Desire is a fictionalised account of the three-year illness of Bertha Pappenheim, known as the founding patient of psychoanalysis, mental illness treatment pioneered by the famous Dr. Sigmund Freud. “Anna O”, Bertha Pappenheim’s clinical pseudonym, was a patient of Dr. Josef Breuer, an associate of Freud’s, and one of the cases on which much of Freud's theory was based. Freud described his patient as cured of "hysteria" with his “talking-cure” method.

Through the author’s extensive research, Bertha’s Jewish upper-middle class of 19th century Vienna is excellently portrayed. A sensitive, well-educated child who spoke several languages, Bertha was deeply disturbed by the gender discrimination she saw in her milieu of society. When her father falls ill, Bertha begins to exhibit more and more alarming symptoms such as paralysis, aphasia, blackouts and hallucinations. Through his regular visits to her home, Dr. Josef Breuer uses new methods such as hypnotism and the “talking cure” to try and root out the cause of Bertha’s psychological problems. As Bertha comes and goes from sanatoriums over the following two years, the author narrates the progress of her illness in a fascinating and horrifying, but truly sympathetic manner that urges the reader onward, to discover what happened to this poor girl, in the end.

I found Guises of Desire an excellent and informative novel and would highly recommend it for readers interested in understanding the history of psychoanalysis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By terryb
Format:Kindle Edition
Hilda Reilly describes herself as “ a writer who engages with controversial situations and who works on the principle that ‘ an enemy is someone whose story hasn’t been heard’” This is a good place to begin when reviewing her novel “Guises of Desire” a fictionalised account of of one Bertha Poppenheim who was living in Vienna around the end of the 19th century. In reality Bertha Poppenheim is the famous Anna O. of psychoanalytic fame. (Her illness, treatment and cure formed the basis of Freud’s seminal work on hysteria, which in its turn was based on the work carried out by Josef Breuer.

The novel is about Bertha Poppenheim’s life, times, illness and recovery from illness-although the exact nature of that illness remains contentious. (It is this mystery that makes “Guises of Desire” feel like a detective novel. Who-or what- is responsible for Bertha’s illness? Is it the result of being a woman? Is it repressed emotion-erotic and otherwise? Is it a consequence of being Jewish? Is it the result of being a very intelligent woman with no outlet for her learning and drives? Or is it caused by an entirely organic difficulty-epilepsy? Or a combination of these elements? Like all my favourite detective novels, the answer is ambiguous. What is fascinating is how Bertha’s times and culture chose to interpret her symptoms.

What would a contemporary psychoanalyst make of her? Indeed, what does contemporary psychoanalysts make of “hysteria”? One answer would be “they don’t” one view was that hysteria was a uterine problem-literally a floating womb. Another was that it was caused by repressed memories. According to Rycroft’s Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (Penguin 1968) “… no contemporary analyst would maintain that they provide an adequate explanation of hysteria.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Story, a Great Read. 29 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Guises of Desire is the well researched story of Bertha Pappenheim, a young woman in the 1880's, beset with mental and physical maladies which are diagnosed as hysteria. Hers is the case reported by Josef Breuer and Sigmund Freud in the 1895 publication, `Studies in Hysteria' in which she is referred to as Anna O. Bertha's treatment is believed to have been the foundation for the development of psychoanalysis.

The story is told predominantly from Bertha's point of view. Hilda Reilly does an outstanding job of presenting Bertha's experiences, her fears and her confusions, both at the onset of the illness and as it develops. The reader travels Bertha's journey more as a participant than as a spectator. Bertha's innermost thoughts and her reactions to external stimuli are engaging and captivating. We are carried away with her to surreal worlds, some horrifying, some pleasant.

The reader travels also with Dr. Breuer as he experiments with the new `talking therapy'. We share his triumphs and his tribulations; is his diagnosis correct or is Bertha's malady organic? We see him not only as a doctor but as a man, conflicted by the demands of his professional interest in Bertha's case and his role as a husband and father.

We are at times invited to read the diary of Bertha's mother, a recently widowed, conservative woman with little option but to trust Dr. Breuer. We are privy to her concerns, to her view of the manifestation of Bertha's illness. Her worries, diarized in a matter of fact style will none the less strike a chord with any parent.

This novel is both an engaging and entertaining story and an informative insight into the birth of psychoanalysis; as a story is hard to put down.

Guises of Desire is a great read and one I am happy to recommend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Title
The author has based this amazing novel on a real case history - that of Bertha Pappenheim - the first recorded instance of `the talking cure' which informed Freud's theories on... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Ann Victoria Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
Hilda Reilly introduces you to true characters with great insight. It is a book of real intimacy. You are drawn into the girl's psyche and feel her real life frustrations small... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Francine Palant
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
Hilda Reilly has done a phenomenal amount of research for this book; I found it fascinating and gripping and the author's note at the end giving Bertha a voice, was moving and... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Zedski
5.0 out of 5 stars History made easy!
I generally enjoy historical fiction as it's an easy way to learn about subjects I might not otherwise come across. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Chouette French for Children
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and fascinating
This fascinating glimpse into the mysterious illness that gripped an intelligent and spirited young woman is both compelling and chilling. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Donna Livingstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening account of Bertha Pappenheim
If you want to escape from the mainstream then this could be a book for you.

Hilda Reilly tells the extraordinary tale of Bertha, a young Jewish woman living in late... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Angel House
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating...
A fascinating piece of work. It seemed to start slowly, but like a super-tanker, it keep on going, intriguing, interesting and relentless. Read more
Published on 16 Dec 2012 by Ian Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Feminism and Psychoanalysis
This novel is a lightly fictionalised account of the early life of Bertha Pappenheim (1859-1936)who became involved in the social issues of her day through founding the Jewish... Read more
Published on 16 Dec 2012 by DAG Cook
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