In the summer of 1908, Henry James receives a distinguished guest at Lamb House, his English residence in the seaside village of Rye. The visitor is Sigmund Freud, archly nicknamed the “Viennese sage” by James, and invited at the suggestion of the author’s psychologist brother.
Though the inference that he needs mental help irks James greatly, he warms to Freud and embarks on a short programme of therapy. Years later, at an Ivy league university, an academic skirmish breaks out over the paper that Freud wrote on his famous client.
Yoder handles the imagined encounter between the two intellectual “lions” with great skill; and the project of conjuring James and Freud’s inner lives is approached with refreshing humour.
by Natalie Whittle