Searching out the private man as well as the public figure, this elegantly written biography follows Henry Murray through his discoveries and triumphs as a pioneer in the field of clinical psychology, as a co-founder of Harvard’s Psychological Clinic, the co-inventor of the Thematic Apperception Test, and a biographer of Herman Melville. Murray’s fascination with Melville’s troubled genius, his wartime experiences in the O.S.S., and his close friendships with Lewis Mumford and Conrad Aiken all come to the fore in this masterly reconstruction of a life. And always, at the heart of this story, Robinson finds Murray’s highly erotic and mystical relationship with Christiana Morgan. Love’s Story Told penetrates to the heart of a brilliant figure in American intellectual life at mid-century, as he dives deeply into the unconscious, testing in work and love the limits of self-exploration.
Love’s Story Told is a remarkable biography, with a startling tale to tell about the man who is its subject, the woman he loved, and the literary and psychological myths that dominated their lives.
A provocative, beautifully written, ‘gloves off’ examination of connections between the man, his work, and his loves. I found the book profoundly engaging, forcing me to reexamine what I previously knew about the man and his work.
This fascinating book combines an astute appraisal of the public career of one of America’s leading psychologists with a sensitive interpretation of his most private inner life. Beautifully written, psychoanalytically informed without ever being reductionist, Love’s Story Told is one of the best biographies I have read in years.
This biography does what all good intellectual history should do—bring to life a whole milieu. It is even more absorbing as the story of a highly intelligent man who constructed a personal mythology to justify his own selfish needs.
Marshaling a mass of biographical information, Robinson’s narrative fuses the public and the intimate, the scientific and the Dionysian, the biographer’s quest for Henry A. Murray with Murray’s own self-searching quest for Herman Melville. A splendid biography of a remarkably bold and versatile explorer of the human psyche.
- 480 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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