Janet Sayers, Canterbury, Kent1
In 1929 Melanie Klein (1882–1960), then relatively newly arrived from Berlin in London, began six years’ psychoanalytic treatment of the writer and painter, Adrian Stokes (1902–72). During and immediately following this treatment Stokes became critically acclaimed for his books applauding Renaissance and modern art, including the avant-garde creations of the ballets russes, for their form- rather than ideas-led inspiration and for their integration of parts as a whole in the mind of the observer. Through bringing his close friends, Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, to live with him and his artist wife, Margaret Mellis, in Cornwall in 1939, Stokes became the catalyst of the subsequent transformation of St Ives into an international centre of modern art which he continued to promote after the war in books and articles in which he developed the ideas of Freud and Klein in terms of the integrating effect of art on the ego through inviting oneness with its separate otherness. (For further details about the life and work of Klein and Stokes, see Grosskurth, 1986; Sayers, 2000, 2011.) Unfortunately Klein retained scarcely any letters, even from her immediate family, and none from Stokes. He retained the following letters, the originals of which (as indicated in brackets after the title of each letter)

1. My thanks to the Melanie Klein Trust for permission to reproduce Klein’s letters to Stokes, to Telfer Stokes and Ian Angus for permission to reproduce Stokes’s previously unpublished letter to William Coldstream, to the Stokes family and the Tate Gallery Archive for access to letters included in this article, and to Paul Tucker for help with transcribing some of these letters. JANET SAYERS is Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Her books include Mothering Psychoanalysis (Penguin, 1992), Freudian Tales (Vintage, 1997), and Freud’s Art (Routledge, 2007). She is currently completing a biography of Adrian Stokes. Address for correspondence: Dept of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP. [jvs@kent.ac.uk]
Psychoanalysis and History 14(1), 2012: 111–132 DOI: 10.3366/pah.2012.0101 # Edinburgh University Press www.eupjournals.com/pah



are now with Stokes’s son, Telfer, with the Tate Gallery in London or with Stokes’s widow, Ann. They begin with Klein’s response to a letter from Stokes about Telfer’s birth on 3 October 1940, written when she was staying with the family of one of her patients in Pitlochry in Scotland.

Klein to Stokes, 21 November 1940 (Telfer)
Ashbank Pitlochry Dear Stokes, I am delighted with the good news and send you both all my good wishes for the happiness of your son & your own. I was going to write to-day to find out how things were when your letter arrived. I am so glad that the feeding goes well. I suggest not to let the baby cry out [‘too’ deleted] much:– compromises like picking up for a little while when he is meant to go to sleep or rocking the pram etc. can be made without affecting [‘th’ deleted] routine (which to some extent is necessary for a baby.) Even occasionally feeding a bit earlier is preferable to letting cry hard. – Training: I don’t think it can be harmful to hold him over the pot if no discipline is yet introduced. I should discourage any such attempts yet. On the other hand this [‘early’ inserted] habit thus acquired breaks I think in most cases down later and then the training problems come up fully. Mild attempts to discipline can be started in the second year – they are unavoidable [‘at’ inserted] at some time and so long as the mother does not get worried, when they don’t succeed for even a year or so, then probably no harm will be done by them. But about this we can discuss later and I shall be pleased to tell you [‘or Margaret’ inserted] any details you want to know or if Margaret wants to discuss them with me. – At present [‘th’ deleted] as I said I think holding over the pot without worrying or influencing him does not I think do damage and saves some trouble. I am very well & have good news from my children [Melitta and Erich] and grandson (my son’s son [Michael] who is now 3 and a very sweet child). My son was called up and I went for a few days to London to see him off, but the call up was cancelled and he is still in his job. I shall spend Christmas with them in the country. Again good wishes Yours sincerely Melanie Klein London was an interesting experience. I understand much better how people manage it psychologically. The publication of articles by Stokes in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis and in the journal, Polemic, seems to have prompted the following letter from Klein while she was staying in Walberswick in Suffolk.



Klein to Stokes, 11 June 1946 (Tate)
Walberswick nr. Southwold Dear Stokes, I meant to write to you for some time. I was very pleased to read your article in the Journal for Ps. An. [Stokes, 1945a]. I think it is very good and interesting. Only recently did I come across your article [Stokes, 1946] in Polemic which interested me very much for a variety of reasons. I think you tackled courageously and successfully the problem of presenting something very difficult to convey. I am looking forward to the book [Stokes, 1947] of which this essay seems to be the beginning. I also heard recently that you have published a book [Stokes, 1945b] some time ago and am looking forward to reading it. I gather that all this implies that you are well? Your son [Telfer] must be a schoolboy by now and I hope he is giving you and your wife much pleasure. I have come well through the war. My son [Erich] will be demobilized in a fortnight. His two children [Michael and Diana] are developing well and are giving me much pleasure – I am now preparing my Collected Papers [Klein, 1948a] for publication and also finishing a few chapters which I am contributing to a volume to be published soon. It is edited by Joan Riviere and the contributors are Susan Isaacs, Paula Heimann and myself [Klein et al., 1952]. How are your parents? With my best wishes Yours sincerely Melanie Klein By June 1946 Stokes had fallen in love with Margaret’s younger sister, Ann. He left Margaret and Telfer at the end of August and briefly resumed his psychoanalytic treatment with Klein that autumn. Following the finalization of his divorce from Margaret he moved with Ann to Ascona in Switzerland where they married on 22 May 1947, and where he received the following letters from Klein.

Klein to Stokes, 19 August 1947 (Tate)
Regina Hotel ¨ rren Mu Dear Stokes, As you see, I am now in Switzerland. I am having what after all these years of restriction appears to be a perfect holiday. I stayed a fortnight at Engelberg and am going to stay a fortnight in Murren [sic] and it is difficult for me to decide which place I like best. I was very glad to hear from you. I had hoped that things would turn out satisfactorily but it was very good news to hear from you that you are happy.



I wonder what the effect on your painting is of not having for such a long time done any. Send me a word from time to time if you feel like it. With my very best wishes Yours sincerely Melanie Klein P.S. – My paper [Klein, 1946] has just come out in the Journal. If you still wish to have the proofs I can send them to you after my return to London (4th Sept.) My collected papers [Klein, 1948a] are at the printers but I don’t know yet when they will be out.

Klein to Stokes, 29 November 1948 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill, St. John’s Wood, N.W.8. Dear Stokes, Thank you very much for your gift and for remembering me. I have been meaning for some time to write to you, but thought that sooner or later you will let me know how you are. I am keeping well and am still very busy. – We have a new baby, a grand daughter [Hazel] now 19 months old, another source of great pleasure. Another baby – and this my own – is coming out; my Contributions to Psycho-Analysis 1921–1945 [Klein, 1948a]. It has indeed taken a long time, but at last it is out. I should be glad to hear something about you. With kind regards Yours sincerely Melanie Klein

Klein to Stokes, 15 February 1949 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill, St. John’s Wood, N.W.8. Dear Stokes, I have to thank you for three letters and I am sorry that I did not write earlier. I know that you understand that this is only due to pressure of work. Even to-day I shall only reply to your last letter and leave it for some other time to write a more personal one. Thank you very much indeed for the trouble you took over the review [of Klein’s Contributions to Psycho-Analysis] for ‘Horizon’. It will interest



you to hear that Connolly may have a very special reason for not wishing to publish the review however good it may be. He is on very good terms with Glover and has published at least on one occasion rather unpleasant remarks by Glover [1945] about me. Glover [1948, 1949] has recently published two articles on Jung with a third to come. Some of my friends are convinced that the third article will contain a not too friendly reference to me. As regards your query about scientific journals to which you could send your review. I wonder whether ‘Nature’ would accept it. They have been sent a review copy. John Lehmann is not with the Hogarth Press any more and I think that Leonard Wolf [sic] is doing very little there but if you write to the Hogarth Press, particularly to Miss Birch with whom I have been much in contact over my book, they will certainly give you any information they can. I don’t know whether you saw the review in the ‘New Statesman’ of 5th February [Gorer, 1949]? Although some people think that it was not too bad and others even think it was very good, I have expressed my disagreement in a letter to the Statesman which I hope will be published. Gorer [1948] has recently written a good book, ‘The Americans’ and therefore is quite a well-known man. I was particularly annoyed with the rather arrogant tone of the review – as if he knew all about it. I am afraid that I do not know anyone in America who could do something about reviews. It seems that I am not good at advertising myself but in spite of this, between 1,400 and 1,500 copies of the book have already been sold which seems a great success. So far, apart from the Statesman, only the 19th Century have reviewed the book and although this was a very short review [M.G., 1948], it was very respectful and appreciative. I am keeping well and busy. I intend to spend my summer holidays in Switzerland, from August 14th–19th in Zurich at a Psycho-Analytical Congress and then from 19th August to 16th September at Casa San Giorgio, Brissago which I think is not very far from where you live. Should you be at home at this time, we might perhaps meet which I should enjoy. With kind regards Yours sincerely Melanie Klein P.S. The address of ‘Nature’ is (Macmillans,) St. Martins Street, London, W.C.2. Klein duly visited Stokes, Ann, and their son, Philip (born on 18 February 1948), in Ascona from where Stokes briefly visited Italy while also working on his next book, Smooth and Rough, to which Klein refers in the next letters.



Klein to Stokes, 20 October 1949 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, Thank you for your letter. I was glad to hear about the fruitful time you had in Italy and very interested in your plans for the book. The idea of inserting the chapter on architecture as you conceive of it, to precede the one on the Machine Age, seems to me promising. I have fully recovered from the trouble I had in Brissago – so there is no more need for the Zwieback and olive oil [for a stomach upset]. I have found out in the meantime that these articles can also be bought in London. Thank you very much all the same for so kindly sending the tin of olive oil. At present I also get enough butter. You may be sure that if I need anything I will not hesitate to write and ask you. I find myself as busy as ever and therefore am not getting on as quickly as I would wish with the last chapter [for Klein et al., 1952]. I mentioned to Mrs Riviere your query about Susan Isaacs’s [1948] paper and she made a note of it. I was very glad to get to know your wife [Ann] and little boy [Philip], and enjoyed the time we spent together. Yours Melanie Klein P.S. Would you kindly let me know again the address etc. of your bank. It was written on a hotel bill and dis-carded. – Of course things have considerably changed since we went. Can you let me know what the present position is there? [This might refer to the aftermath of the 30% devaluation of the pound on 19 September 1949.] The parcel with butter has just arrived. Thank you very much.

Klein to Stokes, 14 February 1950 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, I have received both your letters and am very glad to hear that you found my suggestions of some use, and that you had in fact already been revising your chapters in that direction even before you had my letter.



The essential meaning of my criticism, as you put it so clearly, was to soften the transition and to increase the flow; I would say, to let the meaning grow out of what you are saying and not to put it in artificially by means of psycho-analytic terms. This is what I had essentially in mind and not, as you seem to have partly understood it, to guard psycho-analysis against misrepresentation. If there were any misrepresentation it would come from not being able sufficiently to enlarge on it, but that in any case was not your objective. In short, this side should not bother you [‘so much’ deleted] as it seems to have done. As regards the passages you want to insert:The footnote touching on object relations seems to me quite all right. I also think that the two footnotes quoting from the Anxiety and guilt paper [Klein, 1948b] are quite satisfactory. About the sentence you inserted in the foreword:- I could follow it easily up to the second half, [‘namely’ deleted and replaced with ‘but from’] “there may also be in my argument”, [‘which’ deleted] I find unclear. However, I have no objection on any ground except that I think it is not clear. I have in fact made a beginning with my book on technique, but I am sure it is going to be a very difficult and lengthy job. [Klein might be referring here to work on her book, published in 1961, in which she recounted her technique in terms of her war-time treatment in Pitlochry of a 10 year-old boy, ‘Richard’.] With kind regards, Yours sincerely Melanie Klein In June 1950 Stokes returned with Ann and their son, Philip, from Ascona to England. Klein’s next letter was evidently prompted by his sending her a copy of his newly published book, Smooth and Rough, together with news of the opening of an exhibition of his paintings at the Leger Galleries in Old Bond Street.

Klein to Stokes, 5 March 1951 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, I was very pleased to receive your book [Stokes, 1951a] – many thanks! So far I have only looked at the second part and like it very much. Congratulations! I shall go and look at your paintings on Saturday (10th) sometime between 12 and 12.15.



If by any chance you happen to be in London on that morning I shall be very pleased to meet you there. I meant [inserted ‘many times’] to ask you and your wife to come and see me – but it never seemed to come off. We must arrange a date soon. Yours Melanie Klein Since Stokes was away in Canterbury, visiting his son at boarding school in nearby Bettshanger, when Klein saw his paintings at the Leger Galleries she wrote about them in her next letter.

Klein to Stokes, 25 March 1951 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, It gave me much pleasure to see your paintings. I particularly liked Nightfall: Berkshire, Ascona from Lake Maggiore – Via del Castelrotto, Locarno – San Materno and Main Street – Ascona, but there were others too which impressed me as very good indeed. I hope that the exhibition was successful – was it to your satisfaction? I also read your book [Stokes, 1951a] and find it very interesting. Did it get good reviews? I spoke to my colleague Mrs [‘Marion’ inserted] Milner about it. She has read some of your earlier books, which she found very interesting, and she is going to review this one for the Int. P.A. Journal. She has also seen your exhibition and thinks very highly of your painting. She has recently published a book under the title [opening inverted commas missing] On not being able to paint” which might interest you. Her pen name is Joanna Field. I would like you to meet her and am planning to arrange this on a Saturday afternoon. Would Saturday 14th or 21st April suit you? If so could you provisionally keep both? With best wishes to your wife and yourself Yours sincerely Melanie Klein In the event Stokes’s book, Smooth and Rough, was reviewed in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis not by Marion Milner but by a fellow-member of the Imago Group of artists, philosophers, and psychoanalysts, Anton Ehrenzweig (1952). Milner applauded Stokes’s writings in the 1957 edition of her book, On Not Being Able to Paint.



But she criticized his rejection of Abstract Expressionism in her 1969 book, The Hands of the Living God. Meanwhile, after the birth of Stokes’s and Ann’s daughter, Ariadne, on 10 April 1951, the Stokes family moved that September to Hurtwood House near Guildford in Surrey. From there Stokes sent Klein a copy of a paper he had written about art and psychoanalysis about which Klein comments in the following letters in which she also responds to his offer to commission a portrait of her by William Coldstream in honour of her 70th birthday on 31 March 1952.

Klein to Stokes, 19 January 1952 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, Thank you very much for your [portrait] offer, – I very much appreciate it. I have given some thought to it and also discussed it with a few friends who agree with your arguments in favour of this suggestion. Although I am reluctant to accept the financial demand it imposes on you and my other friends I am inclined to accept because I hope that the money might be collected from subscriptions. My friend Mrs. Riviere is very interested in this plan and would like to discuss it with you. She is going to get in touch with you directly – probably in a week or two. In the meantime again many thanks for your offer and the very kind thoughts which it implies. I have read your paper [Stokes, 1951b] and think that it contains some interesting and fruitful ideas – the link between form in art and in the dream-screen, between achieving of beauty and the movement without anxiety; the link between form, wholeness and depressive position a. s. o. [and so on] – But I find it very difficult to follow because it is not enough clearly expressed. Before we could judge where it could be published it would need, I think a good deal of rewriting. I shall return it to you in a day or two. Again thanks Yours sincerely Melanie Klein P.S. The connection between depressive position and art is dealt [‘with’ inserted] extensively in a paper by Dr Segal [1952] which will be published in the next number of the Journal (which is to come out end of March). If you are interested to see it she might be able to [‘lend’ deleted] let you see. – But seem to remember that you have already [‘habe’ deleted] read this.



Klein to Stokes, 8 February 1952 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, I have recently been – and still am – pressed very hard for time and this is the reason why I have delayed answering your letter. (Dr Garma and his wife, leading analysts in Buenos Ayres are for a few weeks in London and since they came here mainly to have discussions with me I am giving them as much time as I can – even a little more. Also my [‘yearly’ inserted] lectures on Child Analysis – once a week – and other additional claims on my time seem to have recently accumulated). Your second letter expresses what I meant to say about your paper [Stokes, 1951b]. I cannot mark special passages as obscure I spoke of my general impression. I think that in working through your M.S. you will see for yourself where improvement is possible – in fact I gather from your recent letter that you are already doing so [Stokes, 1952]. – May I add – and please don’t take this criticism too much to heart; for it is not meant like that, – that while in your writings some parts are of great beauty others are not clearly enough expressed. I have heard this criticism expressed by people who much appreciated your books and seemed to me to belong to the class of “good” readers. I am not yet sure what Mrs. Riviere’s views about Coldstream’s paintings are. I think she appreciates his qualities as an artist but is uncertain as regards his attitude towards “likeness”. I myself think that both are essential – as you also pointed out – for a portrait of this kind. However I know she will discuss her views with you directly. In the meantime let me thank you again for your interest in this matter. I know you have it at heart and I much appreciate this and I hope something will come of it. How is the family? With kind regards to you & your wife. Yours sincerely Melanie Klein Klein’s sittings for the portrait went ahead. On 8 August 1952, however, Joan Riviere wrote to Stokes with reservations about the portrait about which he soon after wrote to Coldstream in the following letter, transcribed by Ian Angus and indicating with ellipses words lost due to a corner of the letter having been torn off.

Stokes to Coldstream, c. August 1952 (Ann)
Dear Bill I write to you in considerable haste as I must catch the post so that you get this before you see Mrs Klein on Tuesday, to acquaint you, as she wants



me to do, with her general attitude about the portrait. I fear both she & the majority of her friends are considerably exercised. At her request I have been up to see her about it. She admits that she now puts far more store on the existence of a portrait of her than she did originally. Everyone sees in the portrait a strong & formidable work of art in the making. It is this definiteness which causes them to be all the more concerned, I feel. I don’t believe there would be much difficulty in getting Mrs Klein to sit considerably longer did she feel any assurance that what she & her friends find to be utterly out of character, would lessen. She is far from feeling this assurance & thinks, now the plan is set, that it would intensify. I cannot attempt to reassure her on this point because, for all I know, she may be right. The burden of the complaint is as follows (1) The portrait makes her look 20 years too old and the repose is the lethargy of extreme old age. This in itself (which in age I must admit I find undeniable) does not matter so much, it is thought, as (2) she looks hard & unfeminine, not to say, masculine. There is considerable resentment, so to speak, about this because the essence of Mrs Klein, as her friends see her, is her quick sympathy, warm-bloodedness & warm heart & a certain gaiety. I think you feel this too but I know that it does not necessarily follow that this aspect can appear in the painting. One complication here is that she is accused, I believe, by her enemies, quite unjustly, of being melancholic. The portrait it is . . . fair record of her essential personality. The mouth & upper lip are very hard. The . . . hardly painted but will if, when finished, express a very different aspect of her person . . . And if not, though an admirable work of art, from the Kleinian point of view it is . . . fair exhibit to hand to posterity. That is the burden of what is said & felt, with two dissentients who think some softness & vivacity will evolve. You will realize how extremely disagreeable it is for me to write to you about these extraneous matters in connection with a work in progress which I so greatly admire: but not only do I have to do it but I have to admit their validity, from the point of view from which they are uttered. If you feel able to give reassurance to Mrs Klein on these matters I vehemently ask you to do so. If you don’t feel able, I think it would be better, sad as it is, for all concerned that the work be abandoned now. As you know, I think the portrait a very fine & powerful piece of work, & you must not hold this letter against me. It is hell to have to write it. What you are up against is not just feminine vanity. I think, in the circumstances, there is more to it than that. On the subject of the pose & the clothes – as I told Mrs Klein (there was no question at all of the pose changing (!) – I did not lend a willing ear at all. She of course knows that too: moreover these last objections, by themselves, are not deep-rooted. With profound apologies for this wretched letter Yrs Adrian



I would stress again that the power of the work seems to be widely felt. Mrs Klein herself knows that the portrait she has, is absolutely nothing beside yours. It makes no statement, therefore, of any kind. Klein in turn wrote more about the portrait in the following letters.

Klein to Stokes, 4 September 1952 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, I have returned after a very good holiday and feel much better for it. I am now at work on my contribution to the book [Klein et al., 1955] and enjoy writing it. I assume that you know what happened about the portrait before I left. I decided that in any case I could not go on with so many sittings, all the more as I felt that even 20 additional sittings might not be sufficient. The decisive word, however, came from my doctor who very strongly objected to my rest over 20 weekends being disturbed by the sitting [‘s’ added]. I still think I might have gone on had I really had the conviction that the portrait would turn out what one would hope for. I rang Professor Coldstream that Tuesday morning. He had received your letter and was quite prepared for my cancelling the sitting. He was extremely nice over the phone and said he would fetch the portrait. He has not yet done so, however, and I wonder whether this is only because he has been away, or whether he finds it too difficult to come to my house. I am sorry to bother you about this but I feel that it is only you who can discuss with him what is to happen to the portrait. I feel very sorry about this, for your sake, Coldstream’s and my own. It was a lovely idea – for which I am most grateful to you – to have my portrait done and I have no doubt that you chose a good man to do it. It is just unlucky that it did not turn out as one had hoped. I have already told you that I believe there may be great value in the portrait, although my friends do not feel that they want me to be perpetuated in that way. Over the phone Coldstream told me what one would expect an artist to say – that he could not guarantee the outcome. Believe me, I am very grateful to you for the whole plan and the thoughts behind it, and I am so very sorry that it has become a disappointment for you. With kind regards Yours sincerely Melanie Klein



Klein to Stokes, 7 October 1952 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, I should be very pleased if you and Ann could come and have tea with me on Saturday, 18th October, at 4.15. You will also meet Coldstream. Yours sincerely Melanie Klein

Klein to Stokes, 11 December 1952 (Tate)
42 Clifton Hill St John’s Wood N.W.8. Dear Stokes, I was pleased to hear that you were well impressed by Developments in Psycho-Analysis [Klein et al., 1952]. I hope that there will be a few more readers who will think like you. I have not yet finished my contribution for the book [Klein et al., 1955] but hope to do so by the New Year. In any case a few other people have still to finish their papers. I am very much looking forward to this book which I think should be very good and interesting. I must now raise a rather difficult matter. You will remember that when we spoke about the unfinished portrait you suggested that if I wished it to be destroyed you would consent to this being done. I feel badly about [‘it’ inserted, ‘this’ deleted] because I know it is a work of art and I hate the thought of having it destroyed. But I feel very strongly that I do not wish it to be kept as a record of me and, as we both know, [‘and’ deleted] that is what it in the end might turn out to be. My family and friends do not wish me to be perpetuated by this portrait. Moreover I am aware that people who have never seen me have a very phantastic conception of me as a person in connection with my work, and I certainly would not wish to add to this by leaving behind a painting which confirms it. I hope you and your family are well. I am now looking forward to my Christmas holidays and a good rest. [‘Yours’ deleted and replaced as follows] With all good wishes for Christmas and New Year to you and Ann Yours Melanie Klein Despite Klein’s request for the destruction of her portrait by Coldstream it remained intact at the Stokes family home, Hurtwood House,



where she evidently saw it on a family visit prior to writing the following letter in which she began with thanks to Stokes for a painting seemingly by him and now in the possession of Klein’s grand-daughter, Hazel Bentall.

Klein to Stokes, 19 July 1954 (Ann)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Stokes, I wish to tell you how much I value your gift. It hangs opposite my analytic chair and I very much enjoy looking at it. It is an excellent painting and particularly appeals to me. I am sure I shall get increasingly fond of it. Thank you again for giving it to me. I also want to thank Anne [sic] and you for your kind hospitality. We all enjoyed the day very much and the drive back, when the sun came out, was very pleasant. I did not feel tired afterwards. You told me when showing me the portrait that you have not any more the strong feeling about doing away with it which you had formerly. If this is so I shall reply to your question whether I still want it to be destroyed with “yes”. I still feel about it as I did when I saw it first, that whatever its artistic value – it is a bad record of me and that I would not wish to be perpetuated like that. I hope that you actually will not regret to do away with it – I would not wish to hurt your feelings. I am still sorry that your generous offer did not come off as it deserved. But I remain grateful for the thought which prompted this offer. I was glad to see you live contentedly with your charming wife in your beautiful house and also to get to know your children. I hope to see you after my return. In the meantime best wishes to Anne [sic] and you Yours Melanie Klein Loath to destroy the portrait himself, Stokes ordered Ann to set light to it which she did. For some months they had been worried about their infant daughter, Ariadne, whom Klein later diagnosed as schizophrenic. Seeing Ariadne on one of her visits to the Stokes family at Hurtwood House, Klein insisted that Ariadne must be psychoanalysed as soon as she could talk, and in the summer of 1954 Klein arranged for the then 3 year-old Ariadne to begin treatment in London that September with the psychoanalyst, Esther Bick. Ariadne had therefore been in treatment for 10 months prior to Klein’s next letter to Stokes.



Klein to Stokes, 7 July 1955 (Tate)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Stokes, Thank you for your letter. We all, including the children, enjoyed ourselves very much [at Hurtwood] and I was particularly pleased to find little Ariadne so much improved. I was also very interested in our talk, and altogether it was a day very pleasantly spent. Yours sincerely, With kind regards Melanie Klein As well as taking Ariadne for four-times-a-week psychoanalytic treatment with Esther Bick, Ariadne’s 7 year-old brother, Philip, began once-weekly ¨th in Hampstead. But psychoanalytic psychotherapy with Dina Rosenblu Stokes was dissatisfied with this treatment as can be seen from the following letters which however begin with Klein’s response to Stokes’s then recently published book, Michelangelo.

Klein to Stokes, 12 November 1955 (Ann)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead Dear Stokes, I meant to write to you as soon as I received your book [Stokes, 1955a] and to thank you for the gift of it. But then I decided to wait until I shall have read it. [‘But’ deleted] For a number of reasons I was prevented from reading it, – the same applies to Jones 2nd [1955] volume of the [Freud] biography – and this explains the long delay in writing and thanking you. Now I have read it and enjoyed it very much indeed. It is a wonderful subject and you have made the best of it. It is also beautifully turned out and I hope it will have as great a success as can be expected from this kind of book which always only finds a restricted public – like the psychoanalytic book [Stokes, 1951a]. – I myself plan again a book – only a small one. My Congress paper [Klein, 1955] greatly enlarged and my last 2 Congress papers should make a small volume. But I prefer to have this last Congress paper, which I believe to be clinically important not to be published in the Journal but in a book. This was and still is one of the things in which since my return from Switzerland I was so deeply engrossed in that every thing else suffered. I hope to have it ready in 2–3 months



together with a preface which should link my previous Congress paper “The Origin of Transference” [Klein, 1952] with the present one. Unfortunately my strength is not quite equal to my thoughts – if I have worked hard in day time I am usually too tired in the evening to do anything except listening to music. – I heard that you are interested in finding an analyst for Philip. I can highly recommend Dr Holmes [?] who although I have only been supervising his child case for some weeks shows great gifts as a child-analyst – he is an experienced Adult analyst – and with some more experience with this child should do very well with another. The Congress [in Geneva], as you probably heard was very successful as far as my work is concerned and I also much enjoyed the holiday in TeritelMontreuse afterwards. With my best wishes to Ann and you Yours sincerely Melanie Klein

Klein to Stokes, 20 November 1955 (Ann)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Stokes, Thank you for your letter. I am writing to say that I shall not be able to supervise Dr Jaques analysis of Philip. He has already arranged for the supervision of his second case with Dr Munro, a very capable analyst. I myself, now that my working hours are much reduced, have to be very careful in order to spread them in a fair & useful way. Dr Jaques will have learned a lot in the supervision of his first case and that must at present suffice as far as his instruction is concerned. I have a waiting list for supervision hours which does not make it possible for me to give him next autumn a second supervision. I am telling you this because your hope that I might supervise Philip’s analysis might have influenced your decision to ¨ th and to transfer him to Dr Jaques. take Philip away from Miss Rosenblu [Last page missing.]

Klein to Stokes, 23 November 1955 (Ann)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead Dear Stokes, I am sorry but I am unable to help you to reach a decision about the choice of analyst for Philip. I don’t believe that your anxiety that a ChildTherapist is necessarily not as good as a Child-analyst is justified since



I happen to know of analyses which are very satisfactorily carried out by Child therapists. But I am not in touch with the child-therapists and in particular, which is your main point – I have no judgement whatever about ¨ th’s work. When I told you that as far as Dr Jaques is Miss Rosenblu concerned he has only started work under my supervision about – now – 7 weeks ago but shows ability and will during one year have acquired some experience in this case, I certainly did not mean to say that by then he will be an experienced child-analyst. But then I remembered that you had ¨ th and wished to know my opinion about decided to give up Miss Rosenblu Jaques. Now you seem very uncertain whether you should change over and on this point I cannot advice [sic] you since I do not know, as I said, anything about her work. I really think you should discuss your problem with Mrs. Bick, whose judgement can certainly be trusted. I shall be glad to see you but wish to postpone this for a while because I am so caught up with expanding my paper [Klein, 1955] and have quite a few commitments apart from this that I should prefer to see you later. I shall write again later. In the meantime best wishes to Ann and you. Yours sincerely Melanie Klein

Klein to Stokes, c. 23 November 1955 (Ann)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. [Unlike Klein’s other letters to Stokes, this note begins without any preliminary ‘Dear Stokes’.] I was interested in what you said about your book [Stokes, 1955a] and its prospective public and am glad to think it will make its way. With kind regards to Ann and you Yours sincerely Melanie Klein

Klein to Stokes, 23 March 1956 (Ann)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Stokes, I was very pleased to see the good review of your book [Stokes, 1955a] in the “New Statesman” [Gowing, 1956], and I congratulate you on that. I have also been told that there was a review of your book on the radio [Read, 1955]; (unfortunately I missed that) so I hope your book will turn out to be a great success.



I hear that you are moving to Hampstead and then I hope we shall see more of you and Ann. I have been meaning to write to you for some time to tell you that I liked your paper [Stokes, 1955b] in the “New Directions.” This winter did not agree with me though I was not actually ill, and that is why I have been unsociable and you did not hear from me earlier. I am going away at Easter for a fortnight, and hope to see you after I return. Yours sincerely Melanie Klein

Klein to Stokes, 20 April 1956 (Ann)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Stokes, Thank you for your letter. My holiday was fairly good; of course the weather was not very favourable but nevertheless it has done me good. Now I am deeply engrossed in finishing my book on “Envy & Gratitude” [Klein, 1957]; I only wish I could get on with it more quickly than I do. I would very much like, and so would my family, to come and see you one Sunday. We enjoyed our last visit [to Hurtwood House] and shall look forward to repeating it. Could we provisionally keep Sunday, the [‘17th June, or’ deleted] 24th June? In July I shall be very much engaged and June would therefore be more suitable for me. I hope that you are all well and am looking forward to seeing you again. Yours sincerely, Melanie Klein

Klein to Stokes, 10 June 1956 (Tate)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Stokes, I am so sorry that we won’t be able to visit you on Sunday 24th June [at Hurtwood House]. Diana has chicken pox and we understand that even on the last day when it is over with her Hazel or Michael might get it. We regret this very much but of course we can’t expose your children nor could we, if one of our children gets it leave them alone. It is possible if that would suit you and Ann that we might still find a Sunday in July but this is



too early to arrange at the moment. It is a pity – we have all been looking forward very much to going to see you. With kind regards Yours sincerely Melanie Klein P.S. It is possible that the Quarantine for Diana might be over & neither Michael nor [‘Diana’ deleted] Hazel would get it. But to our reckoning – that would have to be confirmed by the doctor – this we could only know one or two days before the 24th. Would that still do for you at such short notice? After selling Hurtwood House in the summer of 1956 Stokes moved with Ann, Philip, and Ariadne to Church Row, Hampstead, where Klein visited that autumn as can be seen from her next letter.

Klein to Stokes, 1 November 1956 (Tate)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Stokes, I am very interested in the aspect of contemplative art you explained in your letter. Personally, I believe it may well be one aspect and I have no doubt that it would be worth while for you to expand on it. I very much enjoyed the evening with you and I was also glad to see your new home, which I think is beautiful. I am very much absorbed in the book [Klein, 1957] I am now revising and I hope to finish it in time to write my paper [Klein, 1958] for the next Congress. I even [‘already’ deleted] have some ideas about a following Congress paper and there is looming all the time a book on Technique [Klein, 1961], which is so big an undertaking that I am a bit afraid of even planning it at the moment. This was what I meant when I told you I did not know what to write about when I finish my book [Klein, 1957]: it is much more that I have too much in mind [‘than no subject’ inserted]. Your idea about the Epstein bust is in itself very attractive, but I would not in any circumstances permit people, even if they cared to do so, to spend such a lot of money for that purpose. I hope to see you and Ann some time soon and shall get in touch with you about that later on. Yours with kind regards Melanie Klein



Klein to Stokes, 16 January 1958 (Tate)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3.

Dear Stokes, Thank you very much for your kind offer to help me to get the papers from Hartmann. In the meantime, it turned out that I did not need any more, and, in any case, the meeting has already taken place. I was glad to hear that you found my Congress paper of value [Klein, 1958]. For various reasons, I have the impression that it is going to appear just at the right moment. I was very interested in the other content of your letter referring to your writing. I have so far not yet been able to read your paper [Stokes, 1957], but that will come. Yours sincerely, Melanie Klein P.S. Thank you for getting for me the copy of Ps. An. Study [Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, the journal founded in 1945 by Anna Freud, Heinz Hartmann and Ernst Kris which published a very different version of psychoanalysis from that of Klein.] In July 1958 Stokes went on a painting holiday in Italy with Lawrence Gowing and his wife, Julia Strachey, during which time Klein addressed the following letter to Ann about an invitation to the ballet involving Margot Fonteyn whom Stokes had known as a friend since becoming a well-known ballet expert in the 1930s.

Klein to Ann, 16 July 1958 (Ann)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Ann, How very kind of you to invite me to such a rare occasion. I shall be back at the end of July and am quite free to go with you to Covent Garden. I love the Sleeping Beauty and I have only rarely seen Margot Fonteyn, so I shall be greatly looking forward to this evening on the 12th Sept. Please give Adrian my best wishes. I hope he will bring back some beautiful paintings and I am glad to hear that he is happy. Again many thanks and kind regards Yours Melanie Klein In early 1959 Stokes suffered a heart attack which prompted Klein’s next letter.



Klein to Stokes, 31 January 1959 (Tate)
20 Bracknell Gardens Hampstead N.W.3. Dear Adrian, Thank you very much for your note. My friends tell me that such a slight attack as yours was does not in any way prejudice the length of life nor mean that it might be repeated. It must be boring for you to be in bed so long – but it is necessary. Anyway there must be plenty of things to occupy your mind and I am sure you are well cared for. I read your paper on smell [Stokes, 1961] and found it interesting and worth while. I shall return it to you. – I am keeping well. With my best wishes to you and Anne [sic]. Yours ever Melanie Klein P.S. It is only because of the steps which are a difficulty for me that I am not visiting you at present. [c/o Tate] The following summer, 1960, Klein became ill on holiday at a hotel in Villars-sur-Ollon near Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Esther Bick brought her home to London where she died on 22 September. Eight years before Stokes had written to Coldstream saying ‘the essence of Mrs Klein, as her friends see her, is her quick sympathy, warm-bloodedness & warm heart & a certain gaiety’. Now, in an obituary note to The Times, Stokes reiterated this sentiment. ‘Melanie Klein was pre-eminent in her enjoyment of people, in her looks, in responsiveness’ (Stokes, 1960, p. 24).

Ehrenzweig, A. (1952) Review: Inside Out and Smooth and Rough by A. Stokes. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 33: 501–2. Glover, E. (1945) Psychology and the public. Horizon 11(63, March): 205–11. Glover, E. (1948) Freud or Jung. Horizon 18(106, October): 225–58. Glover, E. (1949) Freud or Jung (Part II). Horizon 18(107, November): 303–18. Gorer, G. (1948) The American People. New York, NY: Norton. Gorer, G. (1949) Review: Contributions to Psycho-Analysis by M. Klein. New Statesman, 5 February, pp. 132–3. Gowing, L. (1956) Review: Michelangelo by A. Stokes. New Statesman, 2 March, pp. 248, 250. Grosskurth, P. (1986) Melanie Klein. London: Hodder & Stoughton. Isaacs, S. (1948) On the nature and function of phantasy. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 29: 73–97. Jones, E. (1955) Sigmund Freud: Life and Work, Vol. 2. London: Hogarth. Klein, M. (1946) Notes on some schizoid mechanisms. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 27: 99–110.



Klein, M. (1948a) Contributions to Psycho-Analysis 1921–1945. London: Hogarth. Klein, M. (1948b) A contribution to the theory of anxiety and guilt. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 27: 99–110. Klein, M. (1952) The origins of transference. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 33: 433–8. Klein, M. (1955) A study of envy and gratitude. In: Mitchell, J. (ed.), The Selected Melanie Klein, pp. 211–29. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986. Klein, M. (1957) Envy and Gratitude. London: Tavistock. Klein, M. (1958) On the development of mental functioning. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 39: 84–90. Klein, M. (1961) Narrative of a Child Analysis. London: Hogarth. Klein, M., Heimann, P. & Isaacs, S. (eds) (1952) Developments in Psycho-Analysis. London: Hogarth. Klein, M., Heimann, P. & Money-Kyrle, R. (1955) New Directions in PsychoAnalysis. London: Tavistock. M.G. (1948) Review: Contributions to Psycho-Analysis 1921–1945 by M. Klein. Nineteenth Century and After, 144 (862, December): 358. Read, H. (1955) Michelangelo and Bernini. The Listener, 24 November, pp. 886–8. Sayers, J. (2000) Kleinians. Cambridge: Polity. Sayers, J. (2011) Adrian Stokes’ psychoanalytic aesthetics and the First World War. American Imago 68(3): 561–7. Segal, H. (1952) A psycho-analytic approach to aesthetics. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 33: 196–207. Stokes, A. (1945a) Concerning art and metapsychology. International Journal of Psychoanalysis 26(3–4): 177–9. Stokes, A. (1945b) Venice. London: Faber and Faber. Stokes, A. (1946) Inside out. Polemic 2(January): 51–60. Stokes, A. (1947) Inside Out. London: Faber and Faber. Stokes, A. (1951a) Smooth and Rough. London: Faber and Faber. Stokes, A. (1951b) Art and a formal aspect of dreams. December, Tate Gallery Archive, TGA8816.193A. Stokes, A. (1952) Art, object-relationship and a formal aspect of dreams. March, Tate Gallery Archive, TGA8816.192. Stokes, A. (1955a) Michelangelo. London: Tavistock. Stokes, A. (1955b) Form in art. In: Klein, M., Heimann, P. and Isaacs, S. (eds), Developments in Psycho-Analysis, pp. 406–20. London: Hogarth. ´ s and individual words. International Journal of Stokes, A. (1957) Listening to cliche Psychoanalysis 38: 412–8. Stokes, A. (1960) Obituary: Melanie Klein. The Times, 26 September, p. 24. Stokes, A. (1961) Strong smells and polite society. Encounter 17(3 September): 50–6.


The article consists of letters from Melanie Klein (1882–1960) to the writer and painter, Adrian Stokes (1902–72). Spanning nearly 20 years (from 1940 to 1959) these letters concern family and psychoanalytic matters together with Klein’s repeated request for the destruction of a portrait of her by William Coldstream, commissioned by Stokes in honour of her 70th birthday on 31 March 1952. Key words: art, psychoanalysis, Melanie Klein, Adrian Stokes, William Coldstream, Joan Riviere, Esther Bick, Elliott Jaques, Hanna Segal, Marion Milner