19 January 2019
WPF Therapy Book of the Month – January 2019
The Life and Work of Joan Riviere: Freud, Klein and Female Sexuality by Marion Bower traces her journey from dressmaker’s apprentice, and member of the Society for Psychical Research, to Sigmund Freud’s patient and his favourite translator. Marion Bower examines Riviere’s important legacy and contribution to the early development of psychoanalysis.
Riviere was also a close friend and colleague of Melanie Klein and wrote her own highly original and influential papers on female sexuality and other topics, in particular Womanliness as a Masquerade (1929). Her position in the British Psychoanalytic Society was unusual as a direct link between Freud and Klein. Her own papers were extraordinarily prescient of developments in psychoanalysis, as well as the social climate of the time. Riviere’s experience as a dressmaker gave her an interest in female sexuality, and she proceeded to significantly challenge Freud’s views. She also defended Klein from ferocious attacks by Melitta Schmideberg (Klein’s daughter) and Anna Freud.
Marion Bower will be giving a lecture at WPF Therapy later in the year. Look out for details.