1st Edition

A Life of One's Own

By Marion Milner Copyright 2024
    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    “This is what I really want. I want to discover ways to discriminate the important things in human life. I want to find ways of getting past this blind fumbling with existence.” - Marion Milner, from A Life of One’s Own.

    How often do we really ask ourselves, “What will make me happy? What do I really want from life?” In A Life of One’s Own Marion Milner, a renowned British psychoanalyst, artist and autobiographer takes us on an extraordinary and compelling seven-year inward journey to discover what it is that makes her happy.

    On its first publication, W. H. Auden found the book “as exciting as a detective story” and, as Milner searches out clues, the reader quickly becomes involved in the chase. Using her own personal diaries, she analyses moments of everyday life that can bring surprising joy, such as walking, listening to music, and drawing. She also records, in a disarmingly clear and insightful manner, the struggle between the urge to order and control one’s thoughts and standing back to let them wander where they may.

    A pioneering account of lived experience that also anticipates the contemporary phenomenon of mindfulness, A Life of One’s Own is a great adventure in thinking and living whose insights remain as fresh today as they were on the book’s first publication in the 1930s.

    This Routledge Classics edition includes a revised Introduction by Rachel Bowlby.

    Introduction to the Routledge Classics Edition Rachel Bowlby


    Prefatory Note


    1. First Questions

    2. Keeping a Diary

    3. Exploring the Hinterland

    4. The Coming and Going of Delight

    5. Searching for a Purpose

    6. Searching for a Rule

    7. Two Ways of Looking

    8. Discovering that Thought can be Blind

    9. Watching the Antics of Blind Thinking

    10. The Escape from Blind Thinking

    11. Fear of a Dragon

    12. More Outcasts of Thought

    13. Relaxing

    14. Cart-horse or Pegasus?

    15. Discovery of the ‘Other’

    16. Retrospect.





    Marion Milner (1900-1998) was a distinguished British psychoanalyst, educationalist, autobiographer and artist.