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Edwards, A. (1991). Israels, H. Schreber: Father and Son. Madison. International Universities Press. 1989. Pp. xxvi + 376. $50.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(1):129-131.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(1):129-131

Israels, H. Schreber: Father and Son. Madison. International Universities Press. 1989. Pp. xxvi + 376. $50.

Review by:
Alan Edwards

Professor Israels has worked at several Dutch Universities, and has been a director of the Graduate School of Sociology in Amsterdam. At present he is engaged in research on the history of psychoanalysis.

As a sociologist reading the literature, he became aware of the lack of a factual biographical account of the Schreber family, and this he has set out to remedy, covering the period from the birth of the father Dr Moritz Schreber in 1808 to the death of the son Paul, in 1911. Moritz died of appendicitis in 1861 when Paul was 19 years old, and Paul had his first breakdown at 42, and the second at the age of 51, in which he wrote his classic and most quoted account of a paranoid schizophrenic psychotic illness: Memoirs of my Nervous Illness.

Moritz as a doctor ran an orthopaedic clinic in Leipzig and was particularly engaged in the treatment of children with malformations of the spine. An enthusiastic gymnast himself, he had developed a variety of exercises, and used and designed a number of orthopaedic appliances for the correction, and prevention, of spinal deformities. The clinic was situated in a large house, where the family lived, and was equipped with a gymnasium, bathrooms, changing rooms and dormitories for four to seven children in-patients.

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