Alix and James Strachey

James Beaumont Strachey was born in 1887. He was the brother of Lytton Strachey, the biographer, writer and critic, and both brothers were at the heart of the famous Bloomsbury set. Alix Sargent Florence was born to an American father and British mother in New Jersey, in 1892. After meeting at a Bloomsbury gathering, the couple married in 1920.

In 1921 the Stracheys moved to Vienna where James went into analysis with Freud, whom he had long admired. Both fluent in German, Alix and James went on to translate Freud’s works as, the Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, which remains the definitive English translation of Freud. While in Berlin Alix met and became friends with Klein, and she was subsequently instrumental in Klein’s visit and eventual move to London. Both Alix and James trained as psychoanalysts, and by the mid-1920s they were both full members of the British Psychoanalytical Society. Despite their initial and continued interest in Kleinian theory, the Stracheys remained independent of both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups in the Society, demurring from partisan allegiance to either the Anna Freudians or the Kleinians.

James died in 1967, followed six years later by Alix in 1973.