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Correspondence

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4149-2
400 pages
November 2013, Polity
Correspondence (0745641490) cover image
This book is the first publication of the complete correspondence of Sigmund Freud with his daughter Anna. The correspondence ranges over personal and family matters - social events, family holidays, births and deaths, health issues, war experiences, etc. - as well as professional matters, including the progress of Sigmund Freud’s and Anna Freud’s scientific works, their views on students and colleagues, and the international dissemination and publication of psychoanalytical writings.

The letters provide valuable insight into the work and family life of the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, including the changes in his perception of women that were triggered by his relation with his daughter. They also shed fresh light on the development of Anna’s life and career - the early years in England, the period of her analysis with her own father and the last phase of her father’s illness and death, when Anna became the torch-bearer and protector of her father’s works, and eventually became the leading figure in the International Psychoanalytic Association.

Richly annotated with editorial comments, this unique volume of correspondence between Sigmund and Anna Freud is an invaluable source of historical documentation about the formation and development of psychoanalysis and the early decades of the psychoanalytic movement.
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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was the founder of psychoanalysis and one of the most important and influential thinkers of the last 100 years.

Anna Freud (1895-1982) was the sixth and final child of Sigmund Freud, and followed her father into the burgeoning profession of psychoanalysis, producing her own ground-breaking research.

Nick Somers is the translator
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  • This is the complete correspondence between Sigmund Freud and his daughter Anna.
  • The letters deal with personal and family matters as well as professional matters, including the progress of Sigmund Freud’s and Anna Freud’s scientific works.
  • Provides new insight into the development of Sigmund Freud’s work, such as the changes in his perception of women that were triggered by his relation with his daughter.
  • Sheds fresh light on Anna Freud’s life and career, including the period of her analysis with her own father and the last phase of her father’s illness and death, when Anna became the torch-bearer of her father’s works and the leading figure in the International Psychoanalytic Association.
  • The editorial annotations throughout expand the correspondence so that it becomes a rich historical source concerning the formation of psychoanalysis and the early years of the psychoanalytic movement.
  • This major volume will appeal to anyone interested in psychoanalysis and the life and work of its founder, Sigmund Freud.
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"Perfectly collated, ordered, logged; every bit of background that could be found has been meticulously researched and impartially presented."
The Independent

"In this remarkable book, Anna also emerges as intelligent, and sometimes both feisty and capable, eschewing, without ever quite saying so, conventional choices made by so many of her contemporaries."
Literary Review

"This compendious volume, expertly translated and annotated, provides a riveting insight into the relations between the two psychoanalysts in the Freud household - the Professor, himself, and Anna, the daughter he named his Antigone. Here the everyday Freud, the paterfamilias, chides and encourages Anna through what was in her own description a ‘stupid, not reasonable’ adolescence marked by a ‘fervent overzealousness’. Later, they exchange views on congresses and psychoanalysts, as well as her lecture in Oxford, ‘no disgrace for family’. Still later, it is Anna who does the caring. This exchange of letters and postcards, with ever illuminating notes, has the heft of an intimate biography. I couldn’t put it down."
Lisa Appignanesi, Chair of the Freud Museum London 
and author of Mad, Bad and Sad 
 
"This excellent edition is certainly the most significant addition to the writing about Freud and psychoanalysis for some time. It is not only a compelling document of a very special father-daughter relationship and its ramifications, but also an essential contribution to the historical understanding of two of the most influential figures of the 20th century."
Andreas Mayer, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and author of Sites of the Unconscious. Hypnosis and the Emergence of the Psychoanalytic Setting
This compendious volume, expertly translated and annotated, provides a riveting insight into the relations between the two psychoanalysts in the Freud household Ð the Professor, himself, and Anna, the daughter he named his Antigone. Here the everyday Freud, the paterfamilias, chides and encourages Anna through what was in her own description a ‘stupid, not reasonable’ adolescence marked by a ‘fervent overzealousness’. Later, they exchange views on congresses and psychoanalysts, as well as her lecture in Oxford, ‘no disgrace for family’. Still later, it is Anna who does the caring. This exchange of letters and postcards, with ever illuminating notes, has the heft of an intimate biography. I couldn’t put it down.
Lisa Appignanesi, Chair Freud Museum London
and she wants us to add either: author of Mad, bad and Sad - or - Freud's Women (with John Forrester)
 
 
This excellent edition is certainly the most significant addition to the writing about Freud and psychoanalysis for some time. It is not only a compelling document of a very special father-daughter relationship and its ramifications, but also an essential contribution to the historical understanding of two of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
Andreas Mayer, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris and author of Sites of the Unconscious. Hypnosis and the Emergence of the Psychoanalytic Setting
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