This paper draws on Melanie Klein's (unpublished) observational notes of her infant grandson, written primarily in 1938 and 1939. Apart from moving glimpses into a young family's life, the notes contain astute observations of an infant's behavior and emotions. Compared with Klein's published writings, the style is less theoretical and polemical. Later, in his latency years, Klein's grandson was in analysis with Marion Milner, who in 1952 published a paper drawing on the treatment.
The present paper focuses on (1) how observations and treatment of the same child and his family by clinicians in close relationships with each other (Klein, Milner, and Winnicott) fertilized reciprocal influence but also brought into question the validity of Klein's observations, and (2) the relative merits and contributions of various modalities in understanding the infant's psyche, including experimental research, direct observation, parent–infant psychotherapy, and reconstructions from older patients—as occurs, for example, in psychoanalysis.