Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To bookmark an article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Want to save an article in your browser’s Bookmarks for quick access? Press Ctrl + D and a dialogue box will open asking how you want to save it.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Kuhn, P. (2002). “Romancing with a Wealth of Detail”: Narratives of Ernest Jones's 1906 Trial for Indecent Assault. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 3:344-378.

Welcome to PEP Web!

Viewing the full text of this document requires a subscription to PEP Web.

If you are coming in from a university from a registered IP address or secure referral page you should not need to log in. Contact your university librarian in the event of problems.

If you have a personal subscription on your own account or through a Society or Institute please put your username and password in the box below. Any difficulties should be reported to your group administrator.


Can't remember your username and/or password? If you have forgotten your username and/or password please click here and log in to the PaDS database. Once there you need to fill in your email address (this must be the email address that PEP has on record for you) and click "Send." Your username and password will be sent to this email address within a few minutes. If this does not work for you please contact your group organizer.

OpenAthens or federation user? Login here.

Not already a subscriber? Order a subscription today.

(2002). Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 3(4):344-378

“Romancing with a Wealth of Detail”: Narratives of Ernest Jones's 1906 Trial for Indecent Assault Related Papers

Philip Kuhn

In March 1906 Dr. (Alfred) Ernest Jones was put on trial for indecently assaulting two young “mentally defective” girls at a special school in South East London. Jones claimed it was “the most disagreeable experience in [his] life.” A detailed reconstruction of the trial, drawn from contemporaneous records, reveals significant flaws in Jones's autobiographical account. Reading those records in the light of early psychoanalytic theory and recent British “political” texts on child sexual abuse—from “Cleveland,” “Orkney,” and “Jason Dabbs” through to “Lost in Care”—helps illuminate the dominant medicolegal ideologies that informed Jones's trial. Adapting Leo Strauss's concept of persecution reveals how details of the children's allegations were occluded from the trial reports. A jigsaw reconstruction of these silences offers a restitutive narrative of the children's persecuted speech.


A poet and historian, Philip Kuhn has published a significant number of articles on Freud's early writings. He is currently writing a book on the methodologies of reading and is preparing an exhibition exploring the visual dimensions of words and texts.

I acknowledge the kind assistance of Rhys Griffith, Alan Field, and other members of the staff at The London Metropolitan Archives. I also thank the anonymous readers of Studies in Gender and Sexuality for their invaluable comments during the revision of this paper.

- 344 -

Jones is an enigma to me. He is so incomprehensible that it's quite uncanny. Is there more in him than meets the eye, or nothing at all? At any rate he is far from simple; an intellectual liar (no moral judgement intended!) hammered by the vicissitudes of fate and circumstances into many facets. But the result? Too much adulation on one side, too much opportunism on the other?

—Carl Jung to Sigmund Freud, 12 July 1908

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2017, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.