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BREUER, Joseph (1842–1925) & FREUD, Sigmund (1856–1939)

Studien über Hysterie.
Leipzig & Wien, Franz Deuticke, 1895.

First edition of this famous book from which it is customary to date the beginnings of psychoanalysis. Breuer and Freud discovered that hypnosis alone, without suggestion, was an effective tool to allow the patient to discharge repressed fantasies or memories, a method they called "cathartic”. This led to Freud’s discovery of the "unconscious mind”. He soon replaced the hypnotic state with what he called "free associations”. The book consists of a paper which the authors had originally published in the Neurologisches Centralblatt in 1893, followed by five case histories, a theoretical article by Breuer, and a concluding chapter by Freud on psychotherapy. The first case history (by Breuer) is the one of Fräulein Anna O. Breuer had discovered the ‘cathartic’ method of curing hysteria in the early 1880s while treating the patient who would later be immortalized as ‘Anna O’, who exhibited a myriad of severe hysterical symptoms. Freud learned of this interesting case from Breuer, and as it made a strong impression on him he began using a combination of hypnosis and the cathartic method in his own neurological practice. From this Freud gradually developed the method of free association. The book was printed in 800 copies, of which at the end of thirteen years 626 had been sold.

Collation: Pp (6), 269, (1).

Binding: Orange half cloth. The original printed wrappers preserved.

Provenance: Gift from Erik Nordenson (1847–1919).

References: Garrison & Morton 4978; Printing and the Mind of Man 389; Norman F 25 (for further references). Emil Offenbacher 33 (1981), Jeremy Norman Cat. 27 (1993), No 112. Waller 1451.

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