A thrilling compendium of our deepest fears and obsessions by the bestselling author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.
The Book of Phobias and Manias: A History of the World in 99 Obsessions
A Times Best Non-fiction Book for Autumn 2022
A captivating A-Z from the award-winning author of The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher
‘Fascinating… Exquisitely detailed and consistently insightful’ Publishers Weekly
‘A new book from Summerscale is always a treat. She does vast amounts of research, and then manages to let go of it, and take flight in prose that is both forensic and conversational … Her sub-title might echo Neil MacGregor, but this reads more like a book by Oliver Sacks, with dashes of Roald Dahl’ Maggie Fergusson, Spectator
Do you recoil in arachnophobic horror at the sight of a spider – or twitch with nomophobia when you misplace your mobile phone? Do your book-buying habits verge on bibliomania? Perhaps you find yourself mired in indecision and uncertainty? (Would it be reassuring to give this a name: aboulomania?)
Our phobias and manias are contradictory and multiple: deeply intimate, yet forged by the times we live in – the commonest form of anxiety disorder, but rarely given a formal diagnosis. Plunge into this rich, surprising and fascinating A-Z compendium to discover how our fixations have taken shape, from pre-history to the present day, as bestselling author Kate Summerscale deftly traces the threads between the past and present, the psychological and social, the personal and the political.
‘Every phobia and mania makes us think about ourselves differently. Thought-provoking and such fun’ Ian Mortimer, bestselling author of The Time Traveller’s Guides
|Dimensions||2.4 × 13.8 × 21.4 cm|