10 March 2019

10th March 1926 - First Letter From Jenny for your analysis


On 10th March 1926 Jenny Masterson wrote the first letter in an eleven year correspondence between Jenny and Glenn ( a college friend of her son) and Isabel (Glenn's fiance and then wife). The letters are very readable and through them the reader learns about Jenny's life which is passionate, and often vitriolic and self-defeating. She turned against her family on more than one occasion, was married and widowed, and then devoted her life to her son Ross, making great sacrifices for him, but she cannot accept other women in his life. As a result he hides his marriage from his mother which leads to a big falling out between them. It is at this time the letters start.

Glenn and Jenny write back sympathetically but don't get too involved, apart from helping where really needed.

Some years after her death the psychologist Gordon Allport asked for permission to publish the letters. They give a portrait of a fascinating and tempestuous person. The book was intended to be a psychology case study for students to analyse. Allport himself provides his own analysis using different schools popular at the time. He begins with the existential viewpoint, then psychoanalysis, and then psycho-dynamic.

The book is called Letters From Jenny. Thanks to today in psychology history for the date.

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