Princess Marie Bonaparte

Princess Marie Bonaparte

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Princess Marie Bonaparte (2 July 1882 – 21 September 1962) was a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 author and psychoanalyst
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

, closely linked with Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

. Her wealth contributed to the popularity of psychoanalysis, and enabled Freud's escape from Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

.

Marie Bonaparte was a great-grandniece of Emperor Napoleon I of France
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

. She was a daughter of Prince Roland Bonaparte
Roland Bonaparte
Roland Bonaparte, 6th Prince of Canino and Musignano was a French prince and president of the Société de Géographie from 1910 until his death.-Biography:...

 (19 May 1858–14 April 1924) and Marie-Félix Blanc (1859–1882). Her paternal grandfather was Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte
Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte
Pierre-Napoléon Bonaparte was born in Rome, Italy, the son of Lucien Bonaparte and his second wife Alexandrine de Bleschamp....

, son of Lucien Bonaparte
Lucien Bonaparte
Lucien Bonaparte, Prince Français, 1st Prince of Canino and Musignano , born Luciano Buonaparte, was the third surviving son of Carlo Buonaparte and his wife Letizia Ramolino....

, who was one of Napoleon's rebellious and disinherited younger brothers. For this reason, despite her title Marie was not a member of the dynastic
Dynasty
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 branch of the Bonapartes who claimed the French imperial throne
Bonapartism
Bonapartism is often defined as a political expression in the vocabulary of Marxism and Leninism, deriving from the career of Napoleon Bonaparte. Karl Marx was a student of Jacobinism and the French Revolution as well as a contemporary critic of the Second Republic and Second Empire...

 from exile. However, her maternal grandfather was François Blanc
François Blanc
François Blanc , nicknamed "The Magician of Homburg" and "The Magician of Monte Carlo", was a French entrepreneur and operator of casinos, including the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco.-References:*...

, the principal real-estate developer of Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo
Monte Carlo is an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco....

. It was from this side of her family that Marie inherited her great fortune.

Early life


She was born at Saint-Cloud
Saint-Cloud
Saint-Cloud is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris.Like other communes of the Hauts-de-Seine such as Marnes-la-Coquette, Neuilly-sur-Seine or Vaucresson, Saint-Cloud is one of the wealthiest cities in France, ranked 22nd out of the 36500 in...

, a town in Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine
Hauts-de-Seine is designated number 92 of the 101 départements in France. It is part of the Île-de-France region, and covers the western inner suburbs of Paris...

, Île-de-France
Île-de-France (région)
Île-de-France is the wealthiest and most populated of the twenty-two administrative regions of France, composed mostly of the Paris metropolitan area....

. Her mother died of an embolism
Embolism
In medicine, an embolism is the event of lodging of an embolus into a narrow capillary vessel of an arterial bed which causes a blockage in a distant part of the body.Embolization is...

 induced when giving birth to Marie.

On 21 November 1907 in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, she married Prince George of Greece and Denmark
Prince George of Greece and Denmark
align=right| Prince George of Greece and Denmark was the second son of King George I of the Hellenes and Grand Duchess Olga, and is remembered chiefly for having saved the life of a future Emperor of Russia, Nicholas II...

, the second son of King George I of the Hellenes
George I of Greece
George I was King of Greece from 1863 to 1913. Originally a Danish prince, George was only 17 years old when he was elected king by the Greek National Assembly, which had deposed the former king Otto. His nomination was both suggested and supported by the Great Powers...

, in a civil ceremony, with a subsequent religious ceremony on 12 December 1907, at Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

. She was thereafter officially also known as Princess George of Greece and Denmark. They had two children, Peter
Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark
Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark was the eldest child and only son of Prince George of Greece and Denmark, the second child of King George I of the Hellenes and Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinova of Russia, and Princess Marie Bonaparte, daughter of Prince Roland Bonaparte, and great-grand-niece of...

 (1908–1980) and Eugénie
Princess Eugénie of Greece and Denmark
Princess Eugénie of Greece and Denmark was the youngest child and only daughter of Prince George of Greece and Denmark and his wife, Marie Bonaparte, daughter of Prince Roland Bonaparte...

 (1910–1989).

Sexual research


Troubled by her difficulty in achieving sexual fulfillment, Marie engaged in research. In 1924 she published her results under the pseudonym A. E. Narjani and presented her theory of frigidity in the medical journal Bruxelles-Médical. Having measured the distance between the clitoris
Clitoris
The clitoris is a sexual organ that is present only in female mammals. In humans, the visible button-like portion is located near the anterior junction of the labia minora, above the opening of the urethra and vagina. Unlike the penis, which is homologous to the clitoris, the clitoris does not...

 and the vagina
Vagina
The vagina is a fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. Female insects and other invertebrates also have a vagina, which is the terminal part of the...

 in 243 women, she concluded after analysing their sexual history that the distance between these two organs was critical for the ability to reach orgasm
Orgasm
Orgasm is the peak of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, characterized by an intense sensation of pleasure...

 ("volupté"); she identified women with a short distance (the "paraclitoridiennes") who reached orgasm easily during intercourse, and women with a distance of more than two and a half centimeters (the "téleclitoridiennes") who had difficulties while the "mesoclitoriennes" were in between. Marie considered herself a "téleclitorienne" and approached Josef Halban to surgically move her clitoris closer to the vagina. She underwent and published the procedure as the Halban-Narjani operation. When it proved unsuccessful in facilitating the sought-after outcome for Marie, the physician repeated the operation.

She modeled for the Romanian modernist sculptor Constantin Brâncuşi
Constantin Brancusi
Constantin Brâncuşi was a Romanian-born sculptor who made his career in France. As a child he displayed an aptitude for carving wooden farm tools. Formal studies took him first to Bucharest, then to Munich, then to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris...

. His sculpture of her, "Princess X," http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/51035.html created a scandal in 1919 when he represented her or caricatured her as a large gleaming bronze phallus
Phallus
A phallus is an erect penis, a penis-shaped object such as a dildo, or a mimetic image of an erect penis. Any object that symbolically resembles a penis may also be referred to as a phallus; however, such objects are more often referred to as being phallic...

. This phallus symbolizes the model's obsession with the penis and her lifelong quest to achieve vaginal orgasm. Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

, the father of psychoanalysis, condemned orgasm by clitoral stimulation and praised vaginal orgasm with a penis as the superior and only legitimate type. His condemnation echoed the social mores of his era which condemned masturbation as both morally harmful and as a cause of mental disorders.

Freud


In 1925 Marie consulted Freud for treatment of what she described as her frigidity, which was later explained as a failure to have orgasm
Orgasm
Orgasm is the peak of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, characterized by an intense sensation of pleasure...

s during missionary position
Missionary position
The missionary position is a "man-on-top" sex position usually described as the act in which the woman lies on her back and the partners face each other. Though often acted on and applied by heterosexual pairings, it may also be used by gay and lesbian couples.The missionary position is an example...

 intercourse. It was to Marie Bonaparte that Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 remarked, "The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?’". She later paid Freud's ransom
Ransom
Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort money or property to secure their release, or it can refer to the sum of money involved.In an early German law, a similar concept was called bad influence...

 to Nazi Germany, and preserved Freud's letters to Wilhelm Fliess
Wilhelm Fliess
Wilhelm Fliess was a German Jewish otolaryngologist who practised in Berlin. On Josef Breuer's suggestion, Fliess attended several "conferences" with Sigmund Freud beginning in 1887 in Vienna, and the two soon formed a strong friendship...

 despite Freud's wish that they be destroyed.
Jacques Lacan, in his seminar 1960-61, "L'Angoisse", gave a particular lesson later named in Seuil' s Edition by Jacques-Alain Miller "Woman, more true and more real", in which he paints women as being "deuterophallic". He explains that by this he means the very simple fact that, if women are interested in phallic signifiers, paraphernalia or whatever, it is only as a means to reach men's desire, and in the strict function as this desire touches them.

Despite what she described as sexual dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction
Sexual dysfunction or sexual malfunction refers to a difficulty experienced by an individual or a couple during any stage of a normal sexual activity, including desire, arousal or orgasm....

, she conducted affairs with Freud's disciple Rudolph Loewenstein
Rudolph Loewenstein (psychoanalyst)
Rudolph Maurice Loewenstein was a Polish-French-American psychoanalyst.-Biography:...

, and Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand
Aristide Briand was a French statesman who served eleven terms as Prime Minister of France during the French Third Republic and received the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize.- Early life :...

, the French prime minister
Prime Minister of France
The Prime Minister of France in the Fifth Republic is the head of government and of the Council of Ministers of France. The head of state is the President of the French Republic...

.

Later life


On 2 June 1953, Marie and her husband represented their nephew, King Paul of Greece
Paul of Greece
Paul reigned as King of Greece from 1947 to 1964.-Family and early life:Paul was born in Athens, the third son of King Constantine I of Greece and his wife, Princess Sophia of Prussia. He was trained as a naval officer....

, at the coronation
Coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 in London. Bored with the pageantry
Pageantry
Pageantry is a colorful display, as in a pageant. It may refer to:*Beauty pageant*Drag pageantry*Medieval pageant...

, Marie offered psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 to the gentleman seated next to her, who was the future French president François Mitterrand
François Mitterrand
François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand was the 21st President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra, serving from 1981 until 1995. He is the longest-serving President of France and, as leader of the Socialist Party, the only figure from the left so far elected President...

. Mitterrand obliged Marie, and the couple barely witnessed the pomp and ceremony, finding their own activity far more interesting.

She practiced as a psychoanalyst until her death in 1962, providing substantial services to the development and promotion of psychoanalysis. She translated Freud's work into French and founded the French Institute of Psychoanalysis (Société Psychoanalytique de Paris SPP) in 1926. In addition to her own work and preservation of Freud's legacy, she also offered financial support for Géza Róheim
Géza Róheim
Géza Róheim was a Hungarian psychoanalyst and anthropologist. Originally based in Budapest, he is often credited with founding the field of psychoanalytic anthropology, since he was the first psychoanalytically trained anthropologist to do fieldwork...

's anthropological
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 explorations. A scholar on Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

, she wrote a biography and an interpretation of his work.

Death


She died of leukemia
Leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

 in Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez
Saint-Tropez is a town, 104 km to the east of Marseille, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of southeastern France. It is also the principal town in the canton of Saint-Tropez....

, was cremated in Marseilles, and her ashes were interred in Prince George's tomb at Tatoï
Tatoi
Tatoi, located 5 km north of Athens's suburbs, and 27 km from the Athenian Acropolis was the summer palace and 10,000 acre estate of the former Greek Royal Family, and the site of George II of the Hellenes's birth...

, near Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

.

Legacy


The story of her relationship with Sigmund Freud, including assisting his family's escape into exile, was made into a movie, released in 2004. Princesse Marie was directed by Benoît Jacquot
Benoît Jacquot
Benoît Jacquot is a French film director who has had a varied career in European cinema.Born in Paris, he began his career as assistant director of Marguerite Duras films including Nathalie Granger, India Song and also actor in the 1973 short film La Sœur du cadre.He turned to writing and...

 and starred Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve is a French actress. She gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof and mysterious beauties in films such as Repulsion and Belle de jour . Deneuve was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1993 for her performance in Indochine; she also won César Awards for that...

 as Princess Marie Bonaparte, and Heinz Bennent
Heinz Bennent
Heinz Bennent was a German actor.Bennent was born in Stolberg, Rhineland, and served in the Luftwaffe during World War II. His career began after the end of World War II in Göttingen. He moved to Switzerland in the 1970s, where he lived until his death at age 90...

 as Freud.

Ancestry





Titles and styles

  • 2 July 1882 – 21 November 1907: Princess Marie Bonaparte
  • 21 November 1907 – 21 September 1962: Her Royal Highness Princess George of Greece and Denmark

Works

  • The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe: A Psycho-Analytic Interpretation with a foreword by Sigmund Freud - 1934 (translated into English, 1949)
  • Topsy - 1940 - a love story about her dog
  • Five Copy Books - 1952
  • Feminine Sexuality - 1953

External links