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Gillespie, W. (1987). Melanie Klein: Her World and her Work: By Phyllis Grosskurth. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1986. Pp. ii + 515.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 68:138-142.

(1987). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 68:138-142

Melanie Klein: Her World and her Work: By Phyllis Grosskurth. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1986. Pp. ii + 515.

Review by:
William Gillespie

Anyone familiar with the work of Professor Phyllis Grosskurth will not be surprised to find that her full-length biography of Melanie Klein makes fascinating reading. Apart from her excellent and lucid style of writing there are other reasons for this. Her research has been extremely thorough, based as it is not only on published works and minutes but also on a vast number of letters to which she has been allowed generous access, as well as on many personal interviews. The one area where her researches have been thwarted is that of the Freud Archives, to which access is denied until 2000 A.D. That date is no longer so remote as it once seemed, and it may be hoped that Professor Grosskurth will bring out a revised edition when the material of the Archives becomes available.

Above all, however, it is the subject matter that makes the book of immense interest, both to those who witnessed some of the events recorded and to other readers, for the theme, as described in the subtitle, is the world and the work of Melanie Klein. This book, as well as being the history of Melanie Klein, is also a history of psychoanalysis from the time of her entry in 1914 until her death in 1960, and more particularly a history of the British Psycho-Analytical Society.

Professor Grosskurth ends her short foreword with this paragraph:

Few professional women have been subjected to as much distilled malice and rumour accepted as fact as Klein endured both during her lifetime and since her death. I hope that I have in some measure presented a more balanced evaluation.

[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.]

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