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The Book of Phobias and Manias

A History of the World in 99 Obsessions

'The Book of Phobias and Manias' paperback book cover

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’

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 prehistory 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.

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Date published
256 pages

About the author

Black and white photograph of the author Kate Summerscale

Kate Summerscale

Kate Summerscale is the author of the number-one bestselling ‘The Suspicions of Mr Whicher’, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2008, winner of the Galaxy British Book of the Year Award, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and adapted into a major ITV drama. Her debut, ‘The Queen of Whale Cay’, won a Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Award. ‘The Wicked Boy’, published in 2016, won the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. Her latest book, ‘The Haunting of Alma Fielding’, was shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. She lives in north London.