First UK revised edition and the definitive text. The pioneering British neurologist and psychoanalyst Ernest Jones (1879-1958) was Freud’s principal disciple in Britain (and later his biographer), a member of the ‘Secret Committee’, the first president of the British Psycho-Analytical Society, and ‘the single most important figure in the institutional development of psychoanalysis in Britain, and its main public spokesman’ (ODNB). In 1928, Jones published Psycho-Analysis, a popular work intended to serve as an introduction to the still-new discipline of psychoanalysis for the lay-person, and, some twenty years later, Jones revised and enlarged the text for publication under the present title of What is Psychoanalysis?
As the author explains in the introductory paragraph of the Addendum (dated 1947), ‘[a]lthough nearly twenty years have elapsed since this book was first drafted I find on re-reading it little that needs changing. There was of course very much that could have been added to what was after all only a sketch of the elements of psychoanalysis and there is much more now. I must confine myself here to indicating the modern trends and problems of psychoanalytic research into the old contrasts between inborn and environmental factors in the production of human character and personality’ (p. 109). The Addendum (which spans pp. 109-121) provides a conspectus of recent work in Britain by Melanie Klein, Joan Riviere, and Donald Winnicott, and in the United States by Karen Horney, and it is followed by an enlarged bibliography, which includes works issued after 1928.
What is Psychoanalysis? was first published at New York in 1948 (possibly due to post-war paper shortages in Britain), and then issued at London in this edition – interestingly, a comparison of the bibliographies in the American and British editions shows some variations. For example, in the British edition’s bibliography, amongst other changes, the 1948 edition of Jones’ own Papers on Psycho-analysis replaced the 1938 edition; Melanie Klein’s Contributions to Psycho-Analysis is given the date 1948 (it was undated in the American edition, possibly as it was still in press or due to typographical error); the 1949 second edition of Jones’ Essays in Applied Psycho-Analysis is added to the entry for that title; and the 1949 edition of S. Lorand’s Psychoanalysis Today replaces the 1944 American edition. Therefore, this edition contains the definitive text of Jones’ work.