Guises of Desire

  • Maren Scheurer Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität


Hilda Reilly’s historical novel Guises of Desire offers her readers an absorbing fictional biography of Bertha Pappenheim, who is perhaps still better known as Anna O., the first and most famous patient of Josef Breuer’s and Sigmund Freud’s Studies on Hysteria (1895). In an effort to contextualize the novel for modern readers, it is subtitled “The story of Freud’s Anna O”.  


Breuer, J., & Freud, S. (2001). Studies on hysteria. The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud. S. E. 2. London, UK: Vintage. (Original work published 1895)

Gay, P. (2006). Freud: A life for our times. London, UK: Little Books.

Porter, R. (1985). The patient’s view: Doing medical history from below. Theory and Society, 14, 175-198.

Reilly, H. (2013, September 20). A feminist take on the Anna O case. [Blog post].
Retrieved from
How to Cite
Scheurer, M. (2015). Guises of Desire. Language and Psychoanalysis, 3(2), 64-67.
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