#LoveBooks: Explorer of the mind

We set ourselves today a goal to offer you inspiring insight, hereby we came across an amazing cosy reading room.

Wellcome collection Reading Room is an innovative hybrid of gallery library and events space and very cosy Reading Room. We felt encouraged to indulge our curiosity and explore more than ever before!


In this sense and after visiting the insightful exhibition: “STATES OF MIND”
(More on this in our #LoveInspiration, Saturday Project) we are happy to present you:

Explorer of the Mind-
The illustrated biography of Sigmund Freud by Ruth Sheppard

Sigmund Freud is known as the “Father of Psychoanalysis”, and without him and his work, we would not understand ourselves as well as we do. His development of techniques such as the “talking cure”, free association and the interpretation of dreams revolutionized our understanding of our own subconscious. With the inclusion of over 170 images and at least 15 facsimile documents, “Explorer of the Mind” details this great man’s life and examines how he developed the theories for which he became famous, as well as revealing his struggles with his own neuroses and his desperate attempts to use his own techniques to understand himself.

Sigmund Freud is a remarkable person, no doubt about that. Everyone who has visited his “London residence” would remember the wonderful LoveLetters to his wife Martha.

We focused on the most interesting part of LoveStory  -Freud’s LoveLife-
(Chapter 6: Marriage and Family Life)

In the autobiographical study that he was asked to write in 1924, Freud covers his engagement and marriage very concisely.

“In the autumn of 1886, I settled down in Vienna as a physician and married the girl who had been waiting for me in a distant city for more than  four years.” This summary little hints at the drama and stress of the four-year engagement, or the devotion of the 53-year marriage that followed.

One day Freud arrived home from work. He usually went straight to his room, to resume his studies, but on this day he noted a happy young lady sitting at the table chatting with his family.

It was twenty-one-year-old Martha Bernays (1861-1951), who was visiting the Freud family, probably with her sister Minna. To his family’s surprise, Freud joined them at the table. After a few weeks, Freud realized how strongly he felt about Martha, and set out to win her heart.

He sent a red rose accompanied by a motto, in Latin, Spanish, English or German, every day. By early June, he felt fairly certain that the attraction was mutual, and he dared to send her a letter. Her response, on 17 June 1882, was to give him a ring that had belonged to her late father. It was too öarge for her to wear, so Freud wore it and had a copy made for her to wear. The couple now considered them as engaged, but it was a secret engagement, with elaborate precautions set up so they could write to each other without arousing their families’ suspicions. With no money to his name, Freud knew that he would have made something of himself before he could marry Martha.

reference: (Chapter 6, p. 30-31)

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection”

By the time Martha met Freud, she already had many admirers and suitors. A slim, petite and intelligent woman with a charming manner, Martha had only just escaped engagement to a businessman many years her senior. Her brother Eli had dissuaded her from marrying at that time, as she was not really in love.

During their protracted engagement, several years of which were spent in separate cities, Freud sent Martha over 900 letters. Both wrote letters to each other daily, and a gap of two or three days required the great explanation on the part of the neglectful writer. Someday they might write and send two or three letters. It is worth noting that these were not short letters, usually between four and twelve pages of close handwriting. The letters offer detailed accounts of daily events, much sharing of plans and hopes for the future, and clearly very affectionate, showing a couple very much in love, though not always in agreement. There would be several storms for the couple before they reached marriage, some very serious.

“Dreams are often most profound when they seem the most crazy.”

sources: (Book: Explorer of the Mind, The Biography of Sigmund Freud by Ruth Sheppard, Wellcome Collection Reading Room & booktopia.com)

About the Author-
Ruth Sheppard is a freelance author who specializes in history. Her books include Extraordinary Heroes (2010), Alexander the Great at War (2008) and Empires Collide (2006).

Stay curious and order your unique piece from our upcoming “LoveLetters collection” inspired by Freund’s unique Lovestory.


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