John, Paul, And Maternal Loss: An Exploration

–by Karen Hooper

Over the past 30 years, there has been a growing body of research demonstrating how maternal loss psychologically impacts children and can shape their relationship patterns later in life. Historians agree that the deaths of Julia Lennon and Mary McCartney were among the most tragic and significant events in their sons’ lives, and that the loss of their mothers changed both John Lennon and Paul McCartney in fundamental ways. The purpose of this discussion is to review the anecdotal evidence about John and Paul’s experience of maternal loss within the context of this research. Continue reading

The Brothers McCartney: Book Review: The Macs

One of the criticisms various Beatles fans leveled at Mark Lewisohn’s Tune In is the relative lack of attention paid to the death of Mary McCartney. The event, its emotional aftermath, and the presumed psychological and emotional consequences it had on her widower, Jim, youngest son, Mike, and, oldest son, Paul, receives roughly half of the page coverage devoted to the death of Julia Lennon. For a Beatles historiography which has tended, over the decades, to zero in on John’s trauma while seemingly neglecting that of the band’s other members – Ringo’s childhood health struggles, for example – this lack of equal page time from the band’s preeminent historian on a subject which many fans felt had already been inadequately explored left them disappointed.

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