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Pines, D. (1989). The Riddle of Freud: By Estelle Roith. London and New York: Tavistock Publications in association with the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. New Library of Psychoanalysis, No. 4. 1987. Pp. 199.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 70:738-740.

(1989). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 70:738-740

The Riddle of Freud: By Estelle Roith. London and New York: Tavistock Publications in association with the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. New Library of Psychoanalysis, No. 4. 1987. Pp. 199.

Review by:
Dinora Pines

In The Riddle of Freud, Estelle Roith tackles one of the central areas in the matrix of Sigmund Freud's identity, namely the dualistic structure in which his life may be seen. On the one hand he was Sigmund Freud, brilliant pupil of his gymnasium, and subject to all the influences of humanistic western tradition which his teachers transmitted to him. On the other hand he was Sigismund, the eldest son of Jacob Freud and his third wife Amalie Nathanson, subject to all the influences of the Eastern European Jewish tradition that his parents transmitted to him.

Many legends have obviously grown up around the important figure of Sigmund Freud. They are derived from the historical external reality of his family background, and from what can be understood of his internal world, his experiences, and the fantasies arising from them reported in his writings. His contemporaries, amongst them Ernest Jones, added their personal memories of him. Now a later generation have not only drawn historical biographies from this material but also recorded their speculations, assumptions and fantasies—Estelle Roith's book must be included in this latter category.

Some historical facts about Freud's parents and their background are known. Both parents had been born into Orthodox Jewish families in Galicia, Jacob

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Copyright © Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London, 1989

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