News | April 6, 2016

The Origins of Psychoanalysis: Books from the Library of Ernest Jones

page1image1968.jpg‘TO HIS DEAR AND FAITHFUL ERNEST JONES in memory of his visit, 6 May 1926. Freud aet. LXX’. Written by Sigmund Freud into a copy of his Studies on Psychoanalysis on his seventieth birthday and presented to Ernest Jones, this inscription encapsulates the close relationship between the founder of psychoanalysis and one of his earliest and most ardent proponents: Jones had been instrumental in introducing Freud to his British colleagues, would write his standard biography and engineered Freud’s escape from the Nazis to London in 1938.

This exceptional volume is one of a number of rare books from the library of the British Psychoanalytical Society (founded by Jones in 1913) which will be included in Quaritch’s forthcoming catalogue The Origins of Psychoanalysis. From its earliest years the Society has maintained both an archive documenting the history of the Society, and a library of c. 15,000 volumes, which provides members with a comprehensive range of current literature. Through donations by previous members of the Society (e.g. Jones, Melanie Klein, and Freud’s English translators James and Alix Strachey) the library has acquired duplicates of early titles over time, while the preservation of fragile and valuable volumes has increasingly become a concern. In order to meet its readers’ needs for a modern reference library and fund the preservation of the collection, the Society has decided to deaccession a number of the earlier printed works.

THE EARLY HISTORY OF PSYCHOANALYSIS unfolds through these books, many of which were written or owned by Freud and his inner circle. Freud and Breuer’s Studies in Hysteria (1895) - the ‘starting-point of psychoanalysis’ - and a rare first edition of Freud’s landmark Interpretation of Dreams (1900, one of only 600 copies) were both acquired and studied in much detail by Ernest Jones in 1907, in anticipation of his first meeting with Freud. Another work from the collection inscribed by its author to Jones ‘with much devotion’ is a rare offprint of Carl Gustav Jung’s New York lectures of 1912. As Jones’ collaborator in establishing the early Psychoanalytic Congresses, Jung would soon be called by Freud the ‘crown prince’ of the movement, and later, famously, become Freud’s adversary.

Intriguingly, this copy of the New York lectures was published in 1913, as the rift between Jung and Freud reached its climax; indeed, the inscription may have been written by Jung in the hope that his departure from the core group of analysts would not condemn him to intellectual exile. However, it was too late: in a letter to Freud of 22 July 1913, Jones wrote:

‘I have just read Jung’s New York lectures, ... no agreeable task. ... He is very polite to you, except for occasional outbursts ...; he has evidently the feeling that the whole analysis is an artefact, and repeatedly talks of how you have been misled by patients and followed them blindly. ... The silliest pages are ... a masterpiece of nonsense.’

Image: S. Freud. Die Traumdeutung. Leipzig and Vienna: 1900. First edition. From Ernest Jones’ complete set of first to fifth editions of the work, bound uniformly for Jones.

For further information, please contact Dr Anke Timmermann ( / 020 7297 4886) or Mark James ( / 020 7297 4873). 

THE INSTITUTE OF PSYCHOANALYSIS is the leading centre of excellence in the UK in the provision of psychoanalytic training, education, publication and clinical practice. Established in 1924, it is the home of the British Psychoanalytical Society, which finds its roots in the London Psychoanalytical Society, founded by Ernest Jones on 30th October 1913. Through its work - and the work of its individual members - the British Psychoanalytical Society has made an unrivalled contribution to the understanding and treatment of mental illness. Members of the Society have included Michael Balint, Wilfred Bion, John Bowlby, Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, Joseph Sandler, and Donald Winnicott. At present, the Society has about 500 members and some 70 candidates in training, from a diverse range of countries and cultures. Today as in the past, approximately half of the British Psychoanalytical Society are women. The Institute’s history and mission statement can be found at

FOUNDED IN LONDON IN 1847, Bernard Quaritch Ltd is one of the world’s leading antiquarian booksellers. Bernard Quaritch (1819-1899) counted Prince Louis Lucien Bonaparte, the Prime Ministers William Ewart Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli, and the artist and author William Morris amongst his clients, and was characterised by The Times’ obituarist as, ‘the greatest bookseller who ever lived. His ideals were so high, his eye so keen, his transactions were so colossal, his courage so dauntless, that he stands out among men who have dealt in old literature as a Napoleon or a Wellington stands out among generals’. For further information about the company’s history, please visit