The saturation of the English-speaking world with Freudian psychoanalytic concepts was due largely to one brilliant analyst, Ernest Jones. As Freud's disciple, colleague, biographer, and empire builder, he led the international psychoanalytic movement and moved its vortex from Vienna to London, and its influence to Toronto, New York, and Boston. While negotiating the ferocious politics and rivalry of the movement, Jones also managed an imposing series of liaisons that included an heiress and her maid, analysands, and a “Druid Bride.” Jones, unlike Freud, never had to wonder “what do women want?” From Jones's first encounter with Freud's writings as a medical student to the eve of World War II, when he orchestrated the master's escape to London a hairsbreadth away from the death camps, Maddox lays bare a dark and creative era, and a colorfully flawed but powerfully influential man.
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Brenda Maddox, author of Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom, and Rosalind Franklin: Dark Lady of DNA, winner of the Los Angeles Times Biography Award, grew up in Massachusetts and lives in London.From Publishers Weekly:
In writing the life of the man who established psychoanalysis in Britain, veteran biographer Maddox ( Nora: The Real Molly Bloom) gives an equally fascinating (if more familiar) picture of the early world of psychoanalysis, with its conflicting egos and theoretical battles, particularly between strict Freudians and the followers of Melanie Klein, which fiercely divided the English psychoanalytic society founded and ruled over by Ernest Jones. Maddox frames Jones's life as the story of a man whose enormous gifts finally allowed him to triumph over early disgrace. A Welshman who'd shown brilliance as a medical student, Jones (1879–1958) had to leave England in 1908 after accusations of sexual impropriety while examining several youngsters; Maddox finds the evidence in one case "damning." But Jones returned two years later to practice psychoanalysis and advocate tirelessly for it, soon becoming a member of Freud's inner circle. While one wishes for a bit more insight, Maddox wisely refrains from psychoanalyzing Jones, who took full advantage of his ability to mesmerize women before finally settling into a happy marriage, and his alternately affectionate and irritable relationship with his mentor (Jones at one point accused Freud's daughter, Anna, of being "insufficiently analyzed"; Freud in turn called Jones a lying Welshman). Perhaps Jones's greatest moment was in saving Freud and many other Jewish psychoanalysts from the Nazis. Maddox adds an important chapter to the history of psychoanalysis in this balanced and skillful biography. (Mar. 19)
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