Freud's Mistress

Freud's Mistress

Book - 2013
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Penguin Putnam

His theories would change the world?and tear hers apart.
A page-turning novel inspired by the true-life love affair between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law.
It is fin-de-siècle Vienna and Minna Bernays, an overeducated lady’s companion with a sharp, wry wit, is abruptly fired, yet again, from her position. She finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895, the city may be aswirl with avant-garde artists and revolutionary ideas, yet a woman’s only hope for security is still marriage. But Minna is unwilling to settle. Out of desperation, she turns to her sister, Martha, for help.
Martha has her own problems?six young children and an absent, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. At this time, Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses. And while Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband’s ?pornographic” work, Minna is fascinated.
Minna is everything Martha is not?intellectually curious, engaging, and passionate. She and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, yet something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape.
In this sweeping tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal?between a husband and a wife, between sisters?fact and fiction seamlessly blend together, creating a compelling portrait of an unforgettable woman and her struggle to reconcile her love for her sister with her obsessive desire for her sister’s husband, the mythic father of psychoanalysis.



Random House, Inc.

His theories would change the world—and tear hers apart.

A page-turning novel inspired by the true-life love affair between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law.

It is fin-de-siècle Vienna and Minna Bernays, an overeducated lady’s companion with a sharp, wry wit, is abruptly fired, yet again, from her position. She finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895, the city may be aswirl with avant-garde artists and revolutionary ideas, yet a woman’s only hope for security is still marriage. But Minna is unwilling to settle. Out of desperation, she turns to her sister, Martha, for help.

Martha has her own problems—six young children and an absent, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. At this time, Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses. And while Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband’s “pornographic” work, Minna is fascinated.

Minna is everything Martha is not—intellectually curious, engaging, and passionate. She and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, yet something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape.

In this sweeping tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal—between a husband and a wife, between sisters—fact and fiction seamlessly blend together, creating a compelling portrait of an unforgettable woman and her struggle to reconcile her love for her sister with her obsessive desire for her sister’s husband, the mythic father of psychoanalysis.



Baker & Taylor
A tale inspired by the affair between Sigmund Freud and his sister-in-law depicts the struggles of Minna Bernays, an educated woman uninterested in conventional women's roles who becomes fascinated with her brother-in-law's pioneering theories.

Baker
& Taylor

A tale inspired by the true-life affair between the eminent Austrian psychoanalyst and his sister-in-law depicts the struggles of Minna Bernays, whose education and sharp mind rendered her a poor candidate for conventional women's roles but prompt her fascination with her shunned brother-in-law's pioneering theories on human sexuality. By the award-winning authors of Literacy and Longing in L.A.

Publisher: New York : G. P. Putnams Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., [2013]
ISBN: 9780399163074
0399163077
Branch Call Number: Fiction Mac
Characteristics: 357 pages ; 24 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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