We are delighted to welcome psychoanalyst Christine English to the role of Archivist for the Melanie Klein Trust, taking over from Jane Milton who recently stepped down after six years in the post. The Trust is hugely appreciative of the role Jane has played in making the archive accessible to a wider audience and for her own contribution to Klein studies.
Christine is a child, adolescent and adult psychoanalyst in South Oxfordshire; she also worked for almost a decade as Programme Tutor for the MSc in Theoretical Psychoanalytic Studies at the UCL Psychoanalysis Unit, where she will continue to convene the Klein seminar series.
“I am so pleased to take on the role of Archivist,” says Christine. “Jane first introduced me to the archive some years ago, when she handed me a file that included notes of Klein’s work with an adult patient, Mr B, who appears in Lectures on Technique by Melanie Klein (Steiner, 2019). Readers may recall that Mr B is the patient who is furious about bumping into one of Klein’s child patients, and is convinced that Klein has orchestrated their meeting! I became fascinated by Mr B, and in 2019 was awarded the Elizabeth Spillius Award which meant I could spend more time exploring Klein’s work with him. My intention is to publish in book form a record of Mr B’s analysis with Klein.”
“There is however so much material in the archive, and regular blog readers will know that Jane shared Klein’s thoughts on topics as wide-ranging as ‘The meaning of death to the individual’, ‘Practical child-rearing’, and ‘Admiration, hidden beneath envy’,” adds Christine. “I look forward immensely to continuing Jane’s work and bringing to light more of Klein’s previously unseen writing. Indeed my first blog post, in which I share some of Klein’s thoughts on memory, follows directly from Jane’s last, which was entitled ‘Memories in feelings’.
When Jane became Archivist in 2014, she made it her mission to open up Klein’s collection of papers to as many people as possible. She established the archive blog, where she has regularly posted previously unpublished writings and clinical notes by Klein alongside her own insightful commentary. She also helped to facilitate the Wellcome Library’s digitisation of the archive, which has made the collection freely accessible to anyone with an interest in Klein’s work. In addition, she has responded to countless queries about the archive from Klein researchers and scholars around the world.
As well as helping others with their research, Jane undertook her own, leading to the publication of her book Essential Readings from the Klein Archives: Original Papers and Critical Reflections (Routledge, 2020).
“I was honoured to be asked to take over from Elizabeth Spillius as Archivist and found the role hugely interesting and rewarding,” says Jane. “I felt that I came to know Melanie Klein more as a person, with her passion about psychoanalysis and about her patients. Her warmth and humanity shines through her copious notes and papers, as does her genius.”
Jane adds: “I was delighted when Christine approached me about her fascinating and ambitious archive project on ‘Mr B’. I could see that she shared my interest in the work and would bring much to it. She is energetic and passionate about the work and I feel confident that I have left the archive in excellent hands.”