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sigmund freud biography
freud's hous

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The Ground Floor

Study and Library
The Study and Library were preserved by Anna Freud after her father's death. 
The bookshelf behind Freud's desk contains some of his favourite authors: not only Goethe and Shakespeare but also Heine, Multatuli and Anatole France. Freud acknowledged that poets and philosophers had gained insights into the unconscious which psychoanalysis sought to explain systematically. In addition to the books the library contains various pictures hung as Freud arranged them; these include 'Oedipus and the Riddle of the Sphinx' and 'The Lesson of Dr Charcot' plus photographs of Martha Freud, Lou Andreas-Salomé, Yvette Guilbert, Marie Bonaparte, and Ernst von Fleischl. 

The room contains the original analytic couch brought from Berggasse 19 on which patients would recline comfortably while Freud, out of sight in the green tub chair, listened to their 'free association.' They were asked to say everything that came to mind without consciously sifting or selecting information. This method became a foundation upon which psychoanalysis was built.

The Study is also filled with antiquities from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Orient. Freud visited many archaeological sites (though not Egypt) but most of the collection was acquired from dealers in Vienna. He confessed that his passion for collecting was second in intensity only to his addiction to cigars. Yet the importance of the collection is also evident in Freud's use of archaeology as a metaphor for psychoanalysis. One example of this is Freud's explanation to a patient that conscious material 'wears away' while what is unconscious is relatively unchanging: "I illustrated my remarks by pointing to the antique objects about my room. They were, in fact, I said, only objects found in a tomb, and their burial had been their preservation." Circumstances prevented Freud from bringing all his books from Vienna but the library at 20 Maresfield Gardens contains those he chose to bring with him. The library includes a wide range of subjects: art, literature, archaeology, philosophy and history as well as psychology, medicine and psychoanalysis. 

Conservatory and Dining Room
The Conservatory at the rear of the building was originally an open loggia; it looks out onto the garden and was designed by Freud's architect son, Ernst.
Adjacent is the Dining Room containing painted Austrian country furniture which came from Anna Freud's and Dorothy Burlingham's country cottage at Hochrotherd in Austria. 

Also in the room is a souvenir painting of the alpine region where Freud usually spent his holidays, walking in the countryside he loved.

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