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Searl, M.N. (1929). Difficulties in Child Development: By Mary Chadwick. (George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., London. Pp. 411. Price 15 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:476-480.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:476-480

Difficulties in Child Development: By Mary Chadwick. (George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., London. Pp. 411. Price 15 s.)

Review by:
M. N. Searl

On the whole a very good book; probably the best of its kind before the public at the present time. It is fluently and interestingly written, and with a good measure of scientific accuracy. Particularly well done is the chapter entitled 'The Child Discovers the World Around', and it is a great pleasure to find a writer who can so faithfully represent the child's point of view. The book deserves careful reading and correspondingly careful criticism, in spite of its length.

For Miss Chadwick at least the old question as to whether hen or egg came first presents few difficulties. The trouble lies with the parents all the time. The first hint of this comes on p. 19 in the sweeping statements on customs of baby-eating (Miss Chadwick's ample references yet give no page; I have not been able to verify her authority for the statement that 'in some of the most primitive tribes or in the remote times, babies, especially the first-born, have been considered from an economic point of view as articles of diet, being eaten without hesitation in times of scarcity or famine'); and there is another on p. 22, where the parents' service to the child and the child's 'rights and not only privileges' are said 'to be in order that the parents may atone for bringing the child into the world without his or her consent'. This theme, the enormities of the parents and their guilt in having unconsulted children, and the counter theme of the docility, malleability and innocence of the children run through the book with some particularly noticeable outcrops; e.

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