FREUD, Sigmund (1856-1939). Two autograph letters signed ('Freud') to Dr Albert Willem van Renterghem, 19 Berggasse, Vienna, 17 January and 25 October 1917, in German, the first 1½ pages, folio, annotated with an interlinear transliteration (?by the recipient), the second 4 pages, folio, and 1½ pages, 8vo, envelope; with a typed transcription of the second letter, a retained copy of van Renterghem's letter to Freud of 21 December 1916, and a printed edition of van Renterghem's Dutch translation of Freud's Introduction to Psychoanalysis (Amsterdam, 1918), in 2 volumes, 8vo.
AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN MINIATURE. The substantial letter of 25 October 1917 provides an extended résumé of Freud's early life and career up until the foundation of the pscyhoanalytical movement, as material for the preface to the Dutch translation of his Introduction to Psychoanalysis (for which the letter of 17 January 1917 gives permission, with some discussion of publishing and contractual details). Freud recounts his birth in a 'small Czech town' ('in Mähren, einer kleinen czechischen Stadt'), noting his continued Jewish identity ('von jüdischen Eltern geboren, selbst Jude geblieben'), as well as the circumstances of his family, including his relatives in Manchester, to whom he made his 'erste größere Reise'. He goes on to recount his schooling, and the beginning of his medical studies, his earlier desire to study law having been abandoned under the influence of the Darwinian revolution ('die Sinnesänderung erfolgte unter den Eindruck der von Darwin herforgerufenen wissenschaftlichen Bewegung'). Freud goes into considerable detail on the course of his medical studies, including his most influential teachers, Ernst Brücke, Theodor Meynert and Jean-Martin Charcot, also mentioning some of his early articles and translations, including his early work on the properties of cocaine. The biography continues with the beginning of his private practice and early work with children, his consultations with Hippolyte Bernheim ('Im Jahre 1889 drängte mich das therapeutische Bedürfnis Bernheim aufzusuchen') and his pioneering work with Joseph Breuer in laying the foundations of psychoanalysis ('im ... Jahr 1895 erschienen die "Studien über Hysterie" in denen ich als Mitarbeiter von Jos. Breuer den Weg zur Psychoanalyse einschlug'), observing that the development of the psychoanalytical movement proper is treated in his published 1914 article on the subject. Freud also records his marriage and the birth of his children (noting that his three sons are 'at present in the army'), and concludes his biographical sketch with the award of his honorary doctorate by Clark University in 1909. The letter ends with an offer to send van Renterghem a photograph, specifying that 'the only good one' is that taken in 1909 by his son-in-law Max Halberstadt ('Die einzig gute wäre eine 1909 von meinem Schwiegersohne M. Halberstadt in Hamburg hergestellte, die als Kupferdruck vergrössert worden ist').
The Dutch psychotherapist A.W. van Renterghem met Freud at the 3rd International Psychoanalytic Congress in Weimar in 1907; he subsequently underwent a course of therapy with Jung, whose fees he considered more reasonable than Freud's. In 1917, he was a founder of the Nederlandse Psychoanalytische Verenigung. (5)