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By Brett Kahr

A distillation of painstaking examine into the lifetime of Donald Winnicott, tracing his lifestyles from his adolescence in Plymouth, via his profession in paediatrics, to his election as President of the British Psycho-Analytic Society. the writer makes many fascinating hyperlinks among Winnicott's existence and the improvement of his theories.

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Sample text

Little, later confirmed (interview, 1 November 1981, in Anderson, 1982a) that Eliza­ beth Winnicott did indeed contend with bouts of depression. Winnicott also implied that his busy father unconsciously dele­ gated him to look after his forlorn mother. In his unpublished autobiography, he noted that Frederick Winnicott "left me too m u c h to all my mothers. Things never quite righted themselves" (quoted in Clare Winnicott, 1978, p. 24). T h u s it seems that Winnicott regarded the presence of his multiple mothers not only a s a great asset, but as a psychological liability as well.

Donald Winnicott did not relish the prospect of training a s a manufacturer. He h a d other ideas: he would become a medical doctor. One day, while conva­ lescing in the sick room at T h e Leys School after having broken his clavicle on the sports field, Winnicott resolved: " I could see that for the rest of my life I should have to depend on doctors if I damaged myself or became ill, a n d the only way out of this position was to become a doctor myself" (quoted in Clare Winnicott, 1978, p. 25: cf.

Contem­ poraries who had matriculated in the previous year included the colourful George Eric Whelpton, a young gentleman who at­ tended The Leys from 1909 until 1913 and who seems to have inspired Dorothy L. Sayers to create the popular, fictional detec­ tive, Lord Peter Wimsey (Stirland, 1975; Geoffrey C. Houghton, personal communication, 27 September 1994). Virtually all of the boys had come from proud, successful, gentrified families, and many had followed their fathers or elder brothers or cousins to The Leys School, thus perpetuating a family tradition.

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