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Winnicott, D.W. (2003). Correspondence between Donald W. Winnicott and Renata Gaddini, 1964–1970. Psychoanal. Hist., 5(1):13-47.

(2003). Psychoanalysis and History, 5(1):13-47

Correspondence between Donald W. Winnicott and Renata Gaddini, 1964–1970

Dr D. W. Winnicott

26th June 1964

Professor Renata Gaddini

Piazzale Don Giovanni Minzoni 9

Roma, Italy

Dear Renata

Naturally I am glad that you get something out of reading The Child and the Family. (By the way, it has come out as a Pelican book which makes it more accessible.) You ask, how were my talks received by the general public and by mothers in particular? I would say that there has been no general response although of course it might happen that the Pelican produces evidence of a public interest in them by being cheap. The actual talks I expect were heard by very few people and certainly they produced no fan mail. It seems to me really true that mothers on the whole are not wanting to read about being mothers, and I think this is a good thing. Naturally they like the Spock kind of book which gives information in a very readable form and allays their anxieties which are based on ignorance of facts. A great number of professional people and colleagues have told me that they like these talks, but then they are usually in the process of handing them on to some mother to read who probably does not herself want to read them. I said in the book, and I believe it to be very true, that it is a good idea to write as if writing to mothers while at the same time one thinks of the reading public as being composed chiefly of persons who are at least once removed from actual parenthood. I think grand-mothers, for instance, like them, and they usually say that they wish they had had them when they were younger.

I am writing all this down in rather painful detail because it may be that what mothers themselves want, if they want anything at all, is a simple instruction in regard to procedure.

I have left out one thing, which is the value of these talks to myself.

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