ABSTRACT

Donald Woods Winnicott, the youngest child of John Frederick Winnicott and Elizabeth Martha Woods Winnicott, entered the world on the night of Tuesday, 7 April, 1896, in the twilight years of Queen Victoria's reign. Frederick Winnicott did aspire to become a Member of Parliament, but he had experienced learning difficulties as a youth, and this deprived him of both the education and the confidence to move beyond the sphere of local politics. Winnicott, in contrast, rarely ever wrote about the father; most of his work concentrated only on the mother and the baby. On the whole, Winnicott seems to have enjoyed a fairly solid and predictable childhood. In addition to the solidity that Winnicott absorbed from his reliable and steadfast caretakers, he also acquired the permission to be free-spirited and unshackled by dogma. Winnicott attended a local preparatory school in Plymouth, and he continued to live at home.