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Griffith, Edward Fyfe (1895-1987)

  • Griffith, Edward Fyfe, 1895-1988.
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


The papers fall into two main sections. The first deals with Griffith's work in the 1930s and early 1940s as a propagandist for birth control and sex education, and as an author of books of marriage guidance (Modern Marriage, first published in 1935, was still being reprinted during the 1970s). The second deals with his work on analytical psychology following his analysis by a Jungian practitioner in 1947. While the latter interest had an effect on his work concerned with marriage guidance, on the whole the two categories of material are fairly distinct. A third section includes miscellaneous items such as the material collected by Griffith for his research into the Mary Toft case of 1726.

The papers were received in good order, and had been assembled and labelled either by E.F. Griffith or his wife. Very little internal rearrangement was necessary, although in several cases bundles of papers have been broken up into more than one file for ease of handling. This is indicated by the use of Roman numerals. Where material had already been organised into folders, these have been assigned Roman numerals, with letters of the alphabet to indicate further subdivision for reasons of bulk.



Physical description

28 boxes, 2 large boxes, 1 folder


A. Birth control, Sex Education and Marriage Guidance

B. Analytical psychology and symbolism

C. Miscellanea

Acquisition note

These papers were given to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre in December 1985 by Mrs Joyce Griffith, wife of E. F. Griffith

Biographical note

Biographical Summary:

1895 Born in California

1896 To England with mother following father's death

1910-1914 Educated in Lausanne, Switzerland

1914 Teaching at a preparatory school in Broadstairs: fails medical for army due to poor eyesight

1916-1922 Studies medicine at St Mary's London, and becomes involved with Student Christian Movement

1922 Marries, and sets up in general practice in Tavistock

1928 Moves to Aldershot. Joins Eugenics Society and British Social Hygiene Council and meets Dr Helena Wright

1932 Starts a Birth Control Clinic in Aldershot

1934 Sets up the Aldershot and District Women's Welfare Centre and starts a Birth Control Clinic in Guildford

1935 Modern Marriage and Birth Control published by Gollancz

Becomes an editor of Marriage Hygiene

1936 Sets up Sex Education Centre in Aldershot

1937 Voluntary Parenthood published

Moves to Harley Street

Involved in the beginning of the Marriage Guidance Council

1938 Sex in Everyday Life and Morals in the Melting Pot published

1939 The Childless Family: its causes and cure published

1941 Sex and Citizenship published

1943 Reconstitution of the Marriage Guidance Council

1944 The Road to Maturity (ed. EFG) published

1946 Speaks at International Congress on Sexual Matters in Sweden

1947 Undergoes a Jungian analysis with Baroness Vera van der Heydt at the Davidson Clinic, Edinburgh. Has the series of dreams which he wrote up in narrative form as Thraxis.

Becomes involved in giving courses for medical students and nurses at the Middlesex Hospital, and also in working in the Outpatients of the Psychological Medicine Department, under Dr Noel G. Harris.

1948 Visits the Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland

The Truth About the Stork published

Moves his practice from Harley Street to Baker Street

Marries again

1951 The anthology Doctors by Themselves published

1953 Marries Joyce, Noel Harris's daughter

1957 Marriage and the Unconscious published

1966 Ups and Downs in Married Life published

1977 Moves to Cornwall

1981 The Pioneer Spirit published

1987 30 Jul Dies

An overview of the life and work of Griffith ('G' as he was known to his friends) can be found in his autobiography The Pioneer Spirit (Green Leaves Press, Basingstoke, Hampshire, 1981), and there was a brief obituary in the British Medical Journal, 1987, vol 295, pp 790-1

Copyright note

Copyright retained by Mrs Griffith

Terms of use

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