A Times Best Non-fiction Book for Autumn 2022
"We are all driven by our fears and desires, and sometimes we are in thrall to them."
A captivating A-Z from the bestselling author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher
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 award-winning author Kate Summerscale deftly traces the threads between the past and present, the psychological and social, the personal and the political.
'I am sure this book will cause a 'mania' of its own. Thought-provoking and such fun' Ian Mortimer, bestselling author of The Time Traveller's Guides