1st Edition

Marion Milner: The Life

By Emma Letley Copyright 2014
    248 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Artist, poet, educationalist and autobiographer, Marion Milner is considered one of the most original of psychoanalytic thinkers whose life (1900-1998) spans a century of radical change. Marion Milner: The Life, is the first biography of this extraordinary woman. It introduces Milner and her works to the reader through her family, colleagues and, above all through her books, charting their evolution and development as well as their critical reception and contribution to current twenty-first century debates and discourses.

    In this book Emma Letley draws on primary sources, including the newly-opened Marion Milner Collection at the Archives of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London, as well as interviews and the re-contextualised series of Milner texts. She traces the process of Milner's writing of her books, her discovery of psychoanalysis, her training and her place in that world from the 1940's onwards. Marion Milner: The Life includes discussion of Milner's connection with D.W. Winnicott and her emergence as a most individual member of the Independent Group.

    Letley also shows how Milner's Personal Notebooks offer fascinating insights into her relationships, both personal and professional, and into many of her important ideas on creativity, the body-mind relationship, her revolutionary ideas on education and her particular personality as clinician working with both children and adults. Further, Letley explores Milner's literary character from her very early diaries and narratives to her last book written in her 90's published in 2012.

    Marion Milner: The Life places Marion Milner firmly in her Edwardian family setting and contains new material from primary sources, including a new view of her collegial connections. It provides a wealth of material on her life and works that will be invaluable to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, art psychotherapists, students, those involved with life writing and autobiography, and the general reader.

    Acknowledgments. Introduction. Abbreviations.Edwardian Home. A Life of One’s Own. Experiment in Leisure. The Road to Psychoanalysis.‘A Huge Catherine Wheel’.On Not Being Able to…… Influences, Family and Friends – 1950’s—late 1970’s. Servant of a Process.The Facts of Art.Beads of Her Own: Travels Inner and Outer. Forty-Four Years of Psychoanalysis: The Suppressed Madness of Sane Men. Bothered by…..The 1990’s. Notes.Bibliography. Index


    Emma Letley is a writer and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She trained with the Arbours Association and is currently in practice at King's College London and in private practice in Notting Hill Gate. She is Series Editor of the Marion Milner works (Routledge, 2010–2012).