From the group of pioneers, Ernest Jones is probably the least close to Freud, geographically as well as personally. Paradoxically, we have to admit he was one of the most
faithful and reliable of his disciples. It was he who accommodated Freud in his old days when the latter had to leave Austria because of the rise of Nazism. It was he
as well who, after the death of his former colleagues, devoted himself to the effective charge of the analytical movement.
Born in Wales, Great Britain, Ernest Jones (1879-1958) studied medicine and
had taken an interest in neurology before remarking Freud's work about 1903. He soon became enthusiastic about this new discipline and sought means for
applying it to his practice. In 1908, he attended the first congress on psychoanalysis in Salzburg, met Freud and presented his first article. At the end
of 1908, Jones embarked for Canada, settled in Toronto, where, during the next four years, he worked for the spreading of Freudian ideas in Canada and the
United States, where he tried to set up an organisation. Jones left America following an obscure matter of morals involving one of his patients.
He went to Vienna where he undertook a short analysis with Freud, who
thereafter directed him to Ferenczi. Jones afterwards settled in London, where he dedicated the remainder of his life to the care of Freud's work. In addition to his concern with the British Society of Psychoanalysis
, he also led the International Psychoanalytic Association and was involved in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis.
In addition to his personal work, we also owe him one of the best of Freud's biographies. In spite of the heart attack he suffered in 1944, Jones continued his
work as a biographer, while also organising the translation of Freudian works into English.
Copyright René DesGroseillers