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Newman, A. (1988). Field, Joanna (Marion Milner). A Life of One's Own. London, Virago, 1986. Pp. 225. £4.50. and FIELD, JOANNA (MARION MILNER). An Experiment in Leisure. London, Virago, 1986. Pp. 235. £4.50.. J. Anal. Psychol., 33(2):201-202.
(1988). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 33(2):201-202
Field, Joanna (Marion Milner). A Life of One's Own. London, Virago, 1986. Pp. 225. £4.50. and FIELD, JOANNA (MARION MILNER). An Experiment in Leisure. London, Virago, 1986. Pp. 235. £4.50.
Review by: Alexander Newman
When I first met Doris Layard twenty-five years ago, she put Joanna Field my way at a time of terrible turbulence in my own life. But she was not the first. When I was twelve and a half, my headmaster, Gerald Vann, O.P., who was then seeing Jung during the summer months, put A Life of One's Own (as well as volumes of Jung) into my troubled hands, after my going to him for confession: ‘Instead of a penance’, he said.
What a special and intense pleasure, then, to see republished these abditory texts—with Marion Milner's own goat on the covers—both A Life of One's Own and An Experiment in Leisure (bombed out during the blitz), the latter with a rich foreword by Mike Brearley, usually seen in white, now happily in black and white. And the timing may be significant: the republication of these, her first two books (although she made one on education), comes at a time—she was born in 1900—when her latest two books are given to us: Eternity's Sunrise(Virago, 1987) and her collected papers, The Suppressed Madness of Sane Men(Tavistock, 1987). Is it perhaps this question of madness, her madness, that captivates us, the so-called sane? Is it not somehow unlikely that this very Kent English, tall and elegant writer should be mad? But she is, and her books display the particular ways in which she means it: the collected papers are the most clinically and conceptually clear, perhaps, but these two books already invite access to all those suppressed interiorities.
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