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Myers, S. (1928). Reluctantly Told: By Jane Hillyer. (London, Wishart & Co., 1927. Pp. 219. Price 7 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9:379-384.

(1928). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9:379-384

Reluctantly Told: By Jane Hillyer. (London, Wishart & Co., 1927. Pp. 219. Price 7 s. 6 d.)

Review by:
S. Myers

'Reluctantly Told' is an account of the author's recollections of an attack of manic-depressive insanity written after leaving the asylum in which she had lived for four years. Without knowledge of the latest theories of the psychosis, she gives an accurate description of her feelings in the different stages of her disorder, and this description corresponds to a remarkable degree with Abraham's concept of the mechanism of this insanity in his 'Selected Papers on Psycho-Analysis.'

Jane Hillyer was the youngest daughter of two musicians. The father was a highly sensitive idealist, dominated by the desire to create a demand for music in an industrial community of a north-western State; he was frustrated in his efforts by the overwhelming inertia of the external world and his own high-keyed temperament. He seems to have had some degree of oral fixation, which is manifested by his resorting to alcohol as a refuge and by his final suicide by poison when Jane was thirteen years old. Her mother was a music teacher, resolute and courageous, who strove to fight on beside her husband—'the test of her own personality lay with his success or failure'—and after his death made her children's successful living her chief concern; they were brought up in an atmosphere of effort to continue their father's work in their own lives. She appears to have been a well-balanced person, even-tempered, with a sense of humour, quietly calm.

Jane had an older brother and sister, about whom little is told.

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