Online Event, Mar. 8: Princess Marie Bonaparte: Friendship, Psychoanalysis, and Feminism

An online, pay-what-you-can event hosted by the Freud Museum will interest AHP readers. The event, “Princess Marie Bonaparte: Friendship, Psychoanalysis, and Feminism,” is described as follows:

Princess Marie Bonaparte (1882-1962), the great-grandniece of the French emperor, devoted her life and her vast resources to psychoanalysis and to securing Sigmund Freud’s intellectual legacy. Initially Freud’s patient, Bonaparte eventually helped secure the Freud family’s escape and exile to London just as the Nazis closed in on Vienna. Despite the outsized role “the last Bonaparte” played in the history of psychoanalysis, too few are aware of her significant contributions.

Bonaparte was a fierce and influential intellectual in her own right. She wrote prolifically about female sexuality and she also authored a 900-page book on Edgar Allan Poe, works of creative writing, and numerous translations of Freud’s essays. She helped found and fund the major Parisian psychoanalytic institutes where numerous male luminaries, such as Jacques Lacan, would launch their careers. More intimately, Bonaparte devoted her energies to the scientific exploration of women’s orgasms. She submitted herself to three experimental surgeries to alter her sexual organs in order to resolve her “frigidity” and experience orgasm.

In 2020, Bonaparte’s vast correspondence with Freud was finally made available to the public and a French edition of the letters, edited by Rémy Amouroux, was published in 2022.

This panel discussion, moderated by Professor Shilyh Warren, brings together experts to help celebrate Bonaparte’s notable contributions to psychoanalysis, feminism, and the science of sexuality.


Rémy Amouroux is a professor of the history of psychology at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University. He has published several works on Marie Bonaparte including Marie Bonaparte entre biologie et freudisme (2012) and Correspondance intégrale: 1925-1939 (2022), the correspondence between Sigmund Freud and Marie Bonaparte.

Lisa Appignanesi OBE is a prize-winning writer, novelist, broadcaster and cultural commentator. She is a former Chair of the Royal Society of Literature, a former President of English PEN and former Chair of the Freud Museum London. Her award-winning books include Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love; Mad, Bad, and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors, Trials of Passion: In the Name of Love and Madness and Freud’s Women (with John Forrester).

Dany Nobus is Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology at Brunel University London, Founding Scholar of the British Psychoanalytic Council, and former Chair and Fellow of the Freud Museum London. He has published numerous books and papers on the history, theory and practice of psychoanalysis, the history of psychiatry, and the history of ideas, most recently Critique of Psychoanalytic Reason: Studies in Lacanian Theory and Practice (2022), Thresholds and Pathways Between Jung and Lacan: On the Blazing Sublime (edited with Ann Casement and Phil Goss) (2021), and The Law of Desire: On Lacan’s ‘Kant with Sade’ (2017). In 2017, he was the recipient of the Sarton Medal of the University of Ghent for his outstanding contributions to the historiography of psychoanalysis.

Shilyh Warren is a US-based professor and researcher at the University of Texas at Dallas. In the summer of 2022, Warren was a Writer in Residence at the Freud Museum where she explored Bonaparte’s extensive correspondence with various members of the Freud family. Her psychoanalytic research focuses on the politics of sexuality and film theory, which she writes about in “Revolution is Another Climax,” Women & Language (2021) and “Sexuality and Discourses of Care in Feminist Documentary,” Feminist Media Histories (2023). She is also the author of Subject to Reality: Women and Documentary (2019).

Full details, including registration link, are available here.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.