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(1963). Joan Riviere (1883–1962). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 44:228-235.

(1963). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 44:228-235

Joan Riviere (1883–1962)

I. James Strachey, London

The few, rather disconnected remarks I am proposing to make this evening about Joan Riviere will be of a purely personal kind, and will have nothing to do with her psycho-analytic writings or opinions. They will in fact be no more than a few recollections of the earlyish period of psycho-analysis in London, with which we were both of us a good deal concerned. And I am afraid there is likely to be almost as much about myself as about her.

My acquaintance with her goes back far further than my contact with psycho-analysis—in fact to my undergraduate days at Cambridge. But to explain this I had better start with some account of Joan Verrall's early life. For she was born a Verrall. The Verralls, as some of you may know, were a Sussex family, with many branches, especially in Lewes and Brighton. For several generations, in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the branch we are concerned with were what was called 'masters' of a famous Lewes inn—the White Hart, where visitors to Glyndebourne still put up for the night. One of the early eighteenth century Verralls was a bookseller, and another, rather later in the same century, wrote a famous book on cookery, a copy of which in the British Museum belonged to Thomas Gray and is annotated by him. But the really celebrated Verrall was a much more recent figure—A. W. Verrall, the Cambridge classical scholar, who was Joan's Uncle Arthur. He was a truly remarkable person.

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