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Glenn, J. (1992). Hermine Hug-Hellmuth, her Life and Work: Edited by George MacLean and Ulrich Rappen. New York and London: Routledge. 1991. Pp. 305.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 19:389-390.

(1992). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 19:389-390

Hermine Hug-Hellmuth, her Life and Work: Edited by George MacLean and Ulrich Rappen. New York and London: Routledge. 1991. Pp. 305.

Review by:
Jules Glenn

This volume is of great historical importance. Hermine Hug-Hellmuth was the first practising child analyst and the first to conceptualize the technique of psychoanalysing children. She followed Freud who had supervised Max Graf's treatment of his son, 'Little Hans', and had described that therapy. Her 1920 paper, 'On the technique of child-analysis', pre-dated the publications of Melanie Klein and Anna Freud and adumbrated their work. She introduced play as a technical modality. Her pioneering lectures, New Ways to the Understanding of Youth, which were written for parents, educators, school physicians and social workers in 1924, preceded Anna Freud's addresses to that public.

In addition to publishing these and other papers, many of which they translated and appear in English for the first time, MacLean & Rappen provide a synopsis of Hug-Hellmuth's dramatic life which ended tragically when her nephew murdered her. Unfortunately there is insufficient detailed information about Hug-Hellmuth to provide a full-scale biography, but their summary is exciting and illuminating.

Hermine Wilhelmina Ludovika, who later called herself Hermine Hug-Hellmuth, was born in 1871 of the Austrians Knight Hugo von Hugenstein and his wife, the former Ludovika Achelpohl. Knight Hugo had already sired an illegitimate daughter, Antonia, by another woman. After his marriage he and Ludovika raised Antonia as their child, changing her birth date to make her appear legitimate. When Hermine was 12 years old her mother died after suffering from a pulmonary disease for eight years.

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