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Lewin, B.D. (1949). Child Psychiatry in the 1830's—Three Little Homocidal Monomaniacs. Psychoanal. St. Child, 4:489-493.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 4:489-493

VI. History of Child Psychiatry

Child Psychiatry in the 1830's—Three Little Homocidal Monomaniacs

Bertram D. Lewin, M.D.

In the following observations we shall see two individuals, born with perverse inclinations and a bad character. As the inclinations and character were not corrected by education, at the earliest appearance of the passions, they overthrew the intelligence, misled the reason, and initiated a homocidal monomania.

A little girl was put out to nurse during 13 months, in the country two leagues from Paris. Then she was brought up by her grandmother, a very respectable and religious elderly woman. Some months ago, at the age of 7½ she was brought to Paris to be near her mother and father. The child is sad, does not play, laugh or weep. She persistently sits in a chair, with her arms folded, and if her mother turns her back, the child strikes her. She is being taught to read, sew and knit, but pays little heed to her instruction. Three feet, 8 inches, in height, she has light brown hair, black and alert eyes, and a turned up nose. Her mouth is small, her cheeks full and of good color; her physiognomy is pleasant and sensitive.

Since the age of 4, the child has practiced onanism with boys of 10 to 12 years of age. Her separation from the boys is the cause of her sadness. Unless constantly watched, she engages in the practice by herself. Her mother's care, her religious instruction, and the advice of her physician have not succeeded in triumphing over this disastrous habit.

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