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Arden, M. (2000). Charles Rycroft (1914-1998). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81:1021-1024.

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(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(5):1021-1024

Charles Rycroft (1914-1998)

Margaret Arden

Charles Frederick Rycroft was an important influence in the Independent Group of the British Psychoanalytical Society in the years after the Second World War. He qualified as an Associate Member in 1949, a Full Member in 1952, and became a training analyst in 1954. He held many offices in the Society: he was joint librarian with Masud Khan (1952-54) and served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis (1953-1954) and on Council (1956-58). His most important contribution in office was as Scientific Secretary (1956-9), when he was required to contribute to the discussion of papers presented at Scientific Meetings. His ability to understand and explain the papers, of which only a summary was circulated, led to him occupy a prominent place in the discussions. Rycroft was seen as a rising star and subjected to pressures to become a leader, to which he was unable to respond. After 1956 he gradually withdrew from the running of the Society, although he continued as a training analyst. He began to write about psychoanalysis for the non-specialist reader, contributing book reviews and essays to many newspapers and periodicals, notably The Observer and The New York Review of Books. His reputation as an original thinker developed largely outside the psychoanalytic community. His major books are Imagination and Reality (1968a), Anxiety and Neurosis (1968b), A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis (1968c), The Innocence of Dreams (1979a), Psychoanalysis and Beyond

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