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Brierley, M. (1958). Sigmund Freud. Life and Work. Vol. III. the Last Phase, 1919–1939: By Ernest Jones. (London: Hogarth, 1957. Pp. 536. 35s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 39:422-424.

(1958). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 39:422-424

Sigmund Freud. Life and Work. Vol. III. the Last Phase, 1919–1939: By Ernest Jones. (London: Hogarth, 1957. Pp. 536. 35s.)

Review by:
Marjorie Brierley

This third volume covering the years 1919–1939, The Last Phase, concludes Ernest Jones' comprehensive and definitive biography of Freud. One can now see the whole work in perspective, admire its superb panoramic quality, and appreciate more fully the remarkable character of the author's achievement. Freud is himself his own monument, and needs no other; but this biography is a 'classic' tribute to his greatness, and is worthy of the scholarly mind and deep insight of Ernest Jones. One wonders whether there exists any other biography of a great man written so soon after his death by one who was not only so prominent a colleague and personal friend of many years' standing but who also had access to such a wealth of first-hand information: what would the world not give for a biography of Aristotle written by Theophrastus!

The full extent of Freud's martyrdom during the last twenty years of his long life will come as a shock to many readers. It was fairly generally known that he suffered from a malignant affliction of the palate, had to wear a troublesome plate, and finally succumbed to a recurrence, but it is improbable that many outside his family and most intimate friends realized quite how much he had to endure. Appendix B, Surgical Notes, makes ghastly reading. It seems all the more monstrous that the tribulations of the Anschluss and the uprooting from Vienna should have been added to this suffering. One can only hope that the warmth of his reception in England and the world-wide relief at his escape afforded some compensation; but it is almost a matter for thankfulness that death should have come in time to spare him the further rigours of the Second World War.

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