Edward Glover (psychoanalyst)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Edward George Glover (13 January 1888 – 16 August 1972) was a British psychoanalyst. He first studied medicine and surgery, and it was his elder brother, James Glover (1882–1926) who attracted him towards psychoanalysis. Both brothers were analyzed in Berlin by Karl Abraham; indeed, the 'list of Karl Abraham's analysands reads like a roster of psychoanalytic eminence: the leading English analysts Edward and James Glover' at the top. He then settled down in London where he became an influential member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society in 1921. He was also close to Ernest Jones.

He was the third son of a highly gifted country schoolmaster who was a professed Darwinian agnostic. At the time of this birth, Sigmund Freud was still practicing as a neurologist in Vienna and had not published many of his significant findings. Freud's seminal writings on dreams and the unconscious, on infantile (and adult) sexuality, on guilt and self-punishment and the later theories of transference - in short the whole psychoanalytic canon - did not yet exist.

He suffered family tragedies throughout his life. His second brother died at the age of 6 when Edward was 4, and James, his much-admired elder brother, died in his 30s. Later in life his first wife died in childbirth along with their child. From his second marriage he had a daughter who suffered from Down’s Syndrome, whom Glover and his wife cared for at home for many years.

Glover entered the medical school in Glasgow at the age of 16 and graduated at 21 with distinction. It is reported that as a student he was prominent in socialist politics and was involved in a revolutionary move to propose Keir Hardie as rector of the university. There followed several years of academic medicine, working first in Glasgow with the professor of medicine and paediatrics and then in pulmonary medicine in London. With the outbreak of the First World War he was appointed medical superintendent of a sanatorium for the treatment of early chest diseases in Birmingham.

Amongst Edward Glover's most lasting achievements in the combined field of psychotherapy and criminology - aside from his clinical work and extensive publications - are his roles as: co-founder of the Psychopathic Clinic (renamed the Portman Clinic in 1937) and the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Delinquency, joint founder of the British Journal of Criminology - he was co-editor until his death - and co-founder of the British Society of Criminology. He was one-time chairman of the medical section of the British Psychological Society. He is publicly remembered in the annual Glover lecture, delivered under the auspices of the Portman Clinic. He seems to have been a man of the most exceptional intellectual energy.


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