Donald Winnicott's early letters1 are a portrait of English enthusiasm in the early 20th century.


Donald is 17 here. Perhaps there is something to be made of his preference for "an intra from a co-scientist and biologist" in the context of his relationship to his influential father. His reflections on Sunday supper show an attempt to differentiate between pleasure in the moment and pleasure in retrospect. There is an anecdote told by Rosa Taylor in a 1988 interview in London with Madeleine Davis and me about Winnicott and James Taylor, his first wife's brother. They were taking a train. This was in the days of steam engines and the engineer was getting it ready. Jim said: "He's happy, isn't he?" Donald said: "Yes, but he doesn't know it." At boarding school, he is already thinking about this subject.