Melanie Klein (1882–1960) is one of the founding figures of psychoanalysis. Building on the discoveries of Sigmund Freud, she recognised the centrality of the infant’s first relationships with its primary caregivers and, most significantly, she elucidated the early mental processes that build up a person’s inner emotional world. A pioneering child analyst from Central Europe, she was a controversial and powerful member of the British Psychoanalytical Society for 30 years and her influence is now worldwide.
Find out more about Melanie Klein's life by exploring the timeline below. You can also visit the audio and video section to watch The Originality of Melanie Klein, in which Edna O'Shaughnessy and Ron Britton discuss Klein's fascinating life and mind. View the video.
Many of the images on this site are reproduced courtesy of the Wellcome Collection, which holds many of Melanie Klein's original papers. The archive is available to researchers on request - contact the Wellcome Library for more information.