© 2006

Sigmund Freud and the History of Anna O.

Reopening a Closed Case

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction: The Changing History of a Case History

  3. The Evolution of the Case

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 15-32
    3. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 33-37
    4. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 38-53
    5. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 54-68
    6. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 69-79
    7. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 80-89
  4. The Evolution of the Legend

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 91-91
    2. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 93-110
    3. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 111-123
    4. Richard A. Skues
      Pages 151-167
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 168-203

About this book


In recent years historians of psychoanalysis have come to view Freud's case of Anna O. as a failure and have cast doubt on the very foundations of psychoanalysis itself. This new study challenges existing historical scholarship by providing an unparalleled review of the available evidence on the case and reaches new conclusions about its outcome.


Anna O. development psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud transference

About the authors

RICHARD SKUES lectures in social science at London Metropolitan University, UK.

Bibliographic information


'For more than fifty years, the case of Anna O. has been scrutinized by many of the most distinguished historians of psychoanalysis. Now in this meticulously researched and brilliantly argued book, Richard Skues demonstrates that almost everything that has passed for common knowledge about the case has been wrong. Skues sets a new standard for psychoanalytic scholarship, and both Josef Breuer and future generations will be permanently in his debt.'

-Peter L. Rudnytsky, Professor of English, University of Florida, USA, and Editor of American Imago

'Skues's book is a meticulous stock-taking of what can be historically verified, of the development of the established facts, of the contributions of the important authors and their respective internal integrity and tendentiousness...the book is commendable and worth reading.' Psychoanalysis and History, 10 (1), 2008

-Albrecht Hirschmüller, author of The Life and Work of Josef Breuer.

'[His] substantial thesis is elaborated by eye-opening interpretations of all known sources in their own context as well as sound reflections on the retrospective revaluation on Anna O. in the light of the emerging psychoanalysis ... What pleases most is Skues's well balanced and fair judgement on all the participants in the discourse on Anna O., enriched now and then with gentle irony.' Gesnerus. Swiss Journal of the History of Medicine and Sciences 64 (3/4), 2007

-Gerald Kreft, Edinger-Institut, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.