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Karl König Archive Series

Brothers and Sisters

The Order of Birth in the Family

Karl König
Contributions by Alfons Limbrunner
Introduction by Richard Steel
Edited by Richard Steel
September 2012
More details
  • Publisher
    Floris Books
  • Published
    20th September 2012
  • ISBN 9780863158469
  • Language English
  • Pages 160 pp.

“There can be no doubt that special traits of character and mental make-up are found in children and adults who belong to the different ranks in the order of birth.”

In this classic work, Karl König attempts to explain the various characteristics of those born first, second, and third, without losing sight of the tremendous individuality of the human being.

Just as our environment shapes our language, social behavior and mannerisms, so, too, our place in the family also determines how we encounter life.

This book is a fascinating handbook for parents, teachers, and caretakers. Over the years it has become a definitive reference on the subject of child development.

This newest edition in the Karl König Archive series includes a new introduction by series editor Richard Steel; an extended introduction by Karl König; two new essays (”The Two Sisters” and “Brother and Sister”); lecture notes and transcriptions by Karl König, and an essay by A. Limbrunner on the significance for today of König's work on family order.

“Readers will approach this book from their respective family positions, which in my case is the first of four. It was striking to see the first-born characterized as a defender of faith, tradition and the family against new ideas and action. Surely the balance is critical here.”
David Lorimer, Scientific & Medical Network 

“For me the most telling aspect was how much König's descriptions of the first, second, third child and so on fitted so closely with characteristics we'd noticed in our children.”
Education Otherwise 

“A pleasure to read this important work again.”
Camphill News NI 

“A profound and insightful book.”

Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape

C O N T E N T S:

An Evergreen Piece of Pioneering Work, by Alfons Limbrunner

Brothers and Sisters
• Introduction
• The First Child
• The Second Child
• The Third Child

About this Edition, by Richard Steel

Work on a Future Edition
• Brother and Sister (Fighting the Dragon)
• The Two Sisters

Notes for Lectures
From König’s Letters
Introductions to Other Editions



Karl König

Karl König (1902–1966) was born in Vienna, in Austria-Hungary, the only son of a Jewish shoemaker. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and graduated in 1927, with a special interest in embryology. After graduating, he was invited by Ita Wegman to work in her Klinisch-Therapeutisches Institut, a clinic in Arlesheim, Switzerland for people with special needs. He married Mathilde Maasberg in 1929. Dr. König was appointed paediatrician at the Rudolf Steiner-inspired Schloß Pilgrimshain institute in Strzegom, where he worked until 1936, when he returned to Vienna and established a successful medical practice. Owing to Hitler's invasion of Austria, he was forced to flee Vienna to Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1938. Dr. König was interned briefly at the beginning of World War II, but on his release in 1940 he set up the first Camphill Community for Children in Need of Special Care at Camphill on the outskirts of Aberdeen. From the mid-1950s, König began more communities, including one in North Yorkshire, the first to care for those beyond school age with special needs. In 1964, König moved to Brachenreuthe near Überlingen on Lake Constance, Germany, where he set up another community, where he died in 1966.