ABSTRACT

The vignettes contained in Three notes' were Joan Riviere's first publications of a psychoanalytic nature. They show her contact with and understanding of the child in the three adult patients of whom she writes. Joan Riviere's observations in 'The castration complex in a child' and 'Magical regeneration by dancing' concerning phantasies of two young children of whom she had heard or observed herself also give clear indications of her interest in and understanding of children's inner life. Certainly Joan Riviere's ability to read and speak German fluently would have contributed to her knowledge of developments on the continent, as would her year of analysis with Freud in 1922. Whatever the contact she had in the early 1920s with those analysing children, there is no doubt that she had remarkable insight into the influence of the little child's conscious and unconscious thinking and phantasy life on its later development and personality.