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Freud's Wizard: The Enigma of Ernest Jones

Brenda Maddox

6 Reviews

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction, Social & cultural history, Psychology

From an award-winning biographer, the remarkable story of the founder of British pschyoanalysis, Freud's right hand man

Ernest Jones was a born empire builder, who imported the intellectual ferment of early twentieth-century European analysis to our shores. In 1938 he daringly flew to Vienna to rescue Freud from the Nazi threat. With the media frenzy that greeted Freud's arrival in England, psychoanalysis hit the mainstream. When Jones subsequently wrote the definitive, three-volume biography of his mentor, Freud's trailblazing reputation was secured.

Jones himself was a remarkable man, mercurial and quixotic. The son of a colliery clerk in South Wales, his insinuation into the inner circle of psychoanalysis is an improbable story. Likewise, the devastating, if dubious, sexual success he enjoyed with female patients caused intrigue among his contemporaries. As Jones's analytic reputation reached new heights, rumours as to what Freud dubbed his 'dark inconsistencies' grew.

Award-winning biographer Brenda Maddox insightfully and gracefully breathes life into this enigmatic character. Freud's Wizard is a riveting resurrection of a critical, heretofore overlooked, architect of our modern intellectual landscape.

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Praise for Freud's Wizard: The Enigma of Ernest Jones

  • Brenda Maddox tells Ernest Jones's story with economy and verve, mixing relevant details of his personal life with brilliant insights into the history of psychoanalysis - Andrew Lycett, Literary Review

  • Brenda Maddox has a gift for tangential approaches. She hits on an angle that has been missed, or she unearths a minor figure who leaps to life irresistible as she writes. She has done it again with Ernest Jones, Freud's disciple and biographer... Maddox pulls no punches in dealing with either the wizard or his master, and she kept me entertained from start to finish with the very odd story she has to tell - Claire Tomalin, Guardian

  • Maddox's lesson of [Jones'] useful, compromised life is an object lesson in biographical advocacy. She speaks well for the slippery Jones, and makes me wish I had met him - Norman Lebrecht

  • Our best biographer of the ones that got away, has uncovered another brilliant subject - Norman LeBrecht, Evening Standard

  • The "dark inconsistencies" of Jones's sexuality perplexed Freud, who did not have the benefit of this biography to aid his understanding of a quirkily quixotic intellectual and emotional adventure. - Iain Finlayson, The Times

  • A good introduction to the turbulent and often strange beginnings of psychoanalysis - Hanif Kureishi, The Observer

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Brenda Maddox

Brenda Maddox is an award-winning biographer whose work has been translated into ten languages. NORA: A BIOGRAPHY OF NORA JOYCE won the Los Angeles Times Biography Award, the Silver PEN Award, the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and was shortlisted for the National Book Award. Her life of D.H. Lawrence won the Whitbread Biography Award and GEORGE'S GHOSTS, on the married life of W.B. Yeats, was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.

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