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Marie Bonaparte: Freud’s Princess and Ambassador

In this contribution, Hanna Stouten, author of the first Dutch Bonaparte biography, sketches the problematic life of Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962). Freud played a key role in Bonaparte’s life, first as his patient and later as a psychoanalyst herself. He was a father-figure for her, bestowing self-confidence and also a profession, his profession. The activities which Marie developed in psychoanalysis start with her own analysis. The first 43 years display an overarching need for someone like Freud. The time with him was a rich period of expansion for her and was followed by post-Freudian years. In French and international psychoanalysis the princess acquired a reputation as one of the great Freud translators, as a networker and benefactor, and as rescuer of the Fliess letters. Her conflict with Jacques Lacan left a scar.