Freud’s Dora

A Biography of Ida Bauer Adler

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About the Book

Freud’s 17-year-old case study “Dora” is well known in the literature of psychoanalysis. Yet few know the full story—told here for the first time—of this notable woman, who walked out on Freud after three months and, in a sense, cured herself. Born into an important Jewish-Austrian family, Ida Bauer Adler suffered from “petite hysteria”—loss of voice, difficulty breathing, migraines, fainting spells—brought on by the overt sexuality of her relatives. Growing up in a home beset with syphilis and tuberculosis, she overcame her father’s marital infidelity, her mother’s so-called housewife psychosis and her own seduction by the husband of her father’s mistress. She married, raised a son, started a small business, stayed close with her brother, Otto, leader of the Austrian Socialist party, and survived Hitler’s invasion of Vienna. Eventually, she made her way to the U.S. to rejoin her famous son, maestro of the San Francisco Opera House.

About the Author(s)

Marge Thorell has written extensively about Karen and Carl Larsson and Sweden as well as psychoanalysis and Dora. An article on Ida Bauer appeared in the Schuylkill Valley Journal. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Marge Thorell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, chronology, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8279-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4534-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction 9
Part I: Secrets and Lies
1. The Search for Secrets 20
2. The Secret of Freud’s Women 29
3. The Bauer Ménage and Its Secrets 36
4. The Secret Life of Merano 49
5. The K’s Ménage and Their Secrets 62
6. The Nature of Secrets 73
Part II: Dora and Freud
7. The Teenager and the Analyst 82
8. Freud’s Story of the Seductions 91
9. Dreams and Desires 97
10. Dreams and Hysteria 104
11. The Master 111
Part III: Triumph Over Freud
12. The Return 120
13. Marriage 125
14. Motherhood 132
15. The Bauer Family After Freud 137
16. The Politics and Power of Otto Bauer 143
17. World War I 147
Part IV: The Aftermath
18. The New World Order 154
19. The Nazi Period 161
20. Kurt in the United States 167
21. Ida’s Escape 172
22. The Aftermath 179
23. The Scholarship 184
Epilogue 190
Chronology 195
Chapter Notes 199
Bibliography 213
Index 219