18 November 2022

Marie Bonaparte – Sigmund Freud

Correspondance intégrale 1925-1939

The Paris Psychoanalytic Society, SPP and Sigmund Freud Library, BSF (Cécile Marcoux, curator, Bernard Chervet, BSF Committee) have the pleasure to announce the publication of the 900 unpublished letters between Freud and Marie-Bonaparte. This first publication in the world is produced in French by Rémy Amouroux and Olivier Mannoni, and published by Flammarion.


In 1925, Princess Marie Bonaparte went to Vienna to consult Professor Sigmund Freud. This meeting would prove to be « the greatest event of my life », said the great-grandniece of Napoleon I, Princess of Greece and Denmark.

Over fourteen years, they exchanged nearly nine hundred letters until the death of the founder of psychoanalysis in 1939. Preserved in the Library of Congress in Washington, this collection of letters is the last large corpus of Freudian correspondence still unpublished.

Fascinating from beginning to end, this correspondence gives us valuable information on the introduction of psychoanalysis in France, and portrays a declining world in which two remarkable protagonists live. For between the princess who came to cure her depression and one of the most influential intellectuals of the century, a friendship was born that soon went beyond the framework of therapy. Their discussions show how Freud is alternately seduced, amused and sometimes weary of this patient who always wanted to live her love life to the fullest and questioned Freud's conceptions of women, at a time when the quest for female pleasure remained deeply subversive.

The "last of the Bonapartes", as she liked to call herself, far from being the fervent disciple she has sometimes been portrayed as, demonstrates throughout the pages a daring freedom of thought. Regardless of their disagreements, Freud saw her as a loyal student. In fact, she never betrayed him and put her fortune at the service of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society (SPP), which she helped to create and, with the help of many supporters, came to his aid to help him leave Nazi Austria in 1938.

Rémy Amouroux has edited and written the critical apparatus of this complete correspondence. He holds a PhD in history of psychology and is an associate professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS). He teaches at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Lausanne. He is the author of numerous articles and books on the history of psychology and on Marie Bonaparte, including Marie Bonaparte, entre biologie et freudisme, Paris, PUR, 2012.

Olivier Mannoni is a German to French translator. Familiar with Freud's work, he has translated his correspondence with Max Eitington (Hachette, 2009), Anna Freud (Fayard, 2012) and Minna Bernays (Seuil, 2015) and worked on new translations of Freud's texts in Frebc, including Le rêve de l'injection faite à Irma (The Interpretation of Dreams), L'Homme aux loups (From the History of an Infantile Neurosis (the Wolfman case history)), Pour une introduction du narcissisme (On Narcissism), L'Inconscient (The Unconscious), La Féminité (Femininity), L'Amour de transfert (The love of transference), published by Payot.

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