By Brett Kahr
A distillation of painstaking study into the lifetime of Donald Winnicott, tracing his existence from his adolescence in Plymouth, via his occupation in paediatrics, to his election as President of the British Psycho-Analytic Society. the writer makes many fascinating hyperlinks among Winnicott's lifestyles and the advance of his theories.
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Extra resources for D.W. Winnicott: A Biological Portrait
Secondly, the preponderance of women in Winnicott's child hood stimulated a n extreme fascination with the inner world of the female—an interest that eventually became his life's work; as a professional, he devoted more than forty years of research to the exploration of the essence of motherhood and to the examination of the child's relationship with the mother. Even Winnicott's father earned his livelihood, in part, as a corsetier, selling intimate clothing to untold numbers of women (cf. Cooper, 1989).
Mr Balgarnie worked at The Leys from 1900 until 1930 and again from 1940 until 1946. A superb teacher, Balgarnie served as the real-life model for the immortal literary character "Mr Chips", the pro tagonist of the classic novel by James Hilton, himself a pupil at The Leys School from 1915 until 1918 (Geoffrey C . Houghton, personal communication, 27 September 1994). Though he made no public references to Balgarnie, Winnicott did indeed bear a certain similarity to his former Master. He, too, would be remem bered by generations of students as a truly inspiring teacher, and so it may be that Donald Winnicott identified with certain charis matic aspects of Balgarnie's pedagogical approach.
As Christmas of 1910 approached, the boys wrote humorous poems for The Leys Fortnightly, all printed anonymously. One ditty, "A Song of the Holidays", begins: Now is the time to be off for the holidays, Joyful relief for our overtaxed brain! Adipose Y s , thick X*s, and solid A s Cease for a while to give sorrow and pain! Hey for the jolly days! Strap your portmanteaus and off for the train. [The Leys Fortnightly, 20 December 1910, p. 1171 And so, on Wednesday, 21 December, 1910, Winnicott would have completed his first term at school.
D.W. Winnicott: A Biological Portrait by Brett Kahr