Mud City Press


A Novel by Dan Armstrong

The Jewel Case is a historical novel based on the life of Ida Bauer (1882-1945), the young Austrian woman at the center of one of Sigmund Freud's most controversial works, Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria. Ida Bauer is Dora, the subject of the analysis.


Ida Bauer's story is similar to that of many other young upper-middle class women at the end of the nineteenth century. Closeted away in the drawing rooms of Victorian Europe like rare pieces of china, these young women, often high-strung and intelligent, struggled with anxiety due to social and sexual double standards that had become impossibly repressive. In the language of the day they were said to suffer from hysteria, a catchphrase used to cover almost all nervous disorders in women, regardless of their age.

Sigmund Freud's analysis of Ida Bauer is a landmark case in this era of misunderstood women feeling the allure of a burgeoning women's movement. Oppressed by her philandering father and her neurotic mother, then placed under the microscope of Freud's consulting room, Ida provides a dark reflection of her times and an important commentary on the early days of psychoanalysis.

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