An influential New York salon host and perpetual seeker of meaning, Mabel Dodge entered psychoanalysis in 1916 with A.A. Brill, the first American psychoanalyst, continuing until she moved to New Mexico in December 1917. In Taos, she met Antonio Luhan, the Pueblo Indian who became her fourth husband in 1923, a radical union that forever altered her turbulent life.

From the beginning of her analysis until 1944, Mabel wrote to Brill and he replied, yielding 122 letters. No other such extensive, elaborate written conversations exist between patient and analyst. This book presents a narrative organized around these letters, featuring the turmoil in Mabel's relationships with others, most notably D. H. Lawrence, as well as her extraordinarily candid memoirs, both published and unpublished, inspired by Brill's fierce insistence upon constructive outlets. In her correspondence, as in life, Mabel was despairing, insightful, insecure, and talented, reporting to Brill her emotional states, seeking his advice. With warmth and frankness, he offered opinions, affection, and interpretations.


chapter One|30 pages


chapter Two|8 pages

Early psychoanalysis in New York

chapter Three|10 pages

From lonely child to salon host

chapter Four|9 pages

A jealousy complex

chapter Five|11 pages

"Let's go and get married!"

chapter Six|6 pages

Lawrence: "Is Taos the place?"

chapter Seven|6 pages

"An irrevocable step!"

chapter Eight|13 pages

Lawrence again

chapter Nine|8 pages


chapter Ten|7 pages


chapter Eleven|6 pages

Another analysis

chapter Twelve|8 pages


chapter Thirteen|21 pages

Intimate Memories

chapter Fourteen|13 pages

New York memories

chapter Fifteen|15 pages

Brill in Taos

chapter Sixteen|10 pages

Psychoanalysis again in New York

chapter Seventeen|12 pages

Back in Taos

chapter Eighteen|11 pages

The Jeffers affair

chapter Nineteen|10 pages

Money and a novel

chapter Twenty|14 pages

Dreams, ups and downs

chapter Twenty-One|12 pages

Notes Upon Awareness

chapter Twenty-Two|16 pages


chapter Twenty-Three|9 pages

A salon revived

chapter Twenty-Four|9 pages

Surgery in New York

chapter Twenty-Five|8 pages

Mabel’s birthday

chapter Twenty-Six|8 pages

Final years

chapter Twenty-Seven|5 pages

After Brill’s death