Uncommon for Freud to write in English, he pens this letter to Dear Mr. Stanley. "I would like visiting Edinburgh and if so I would not miss coming to the College you mention. But actually, such a visit is out of the question on account of my health...." He signs with his uncommon extended signature, "Sigm. Freud." Freud had been suffering from mouth cancer since 1923, with remissions. Freud lived in England for about six months when he wrote this letter. With Nazi influence gaining strength in Austria, he sought refuge in England because he had become a target of the Gestapo. With his wife Martha Bernays and daughter Anna, he was able to leave Vienna for London where he arrived in June 1938. This letter, unusual for its signature and in English, was penned about nine months before Freud died.
Our letter confirms Freud’s ability to work consisted of writing and seeing patients, but no longer traveling to give lectures. As Freud mentions, his health was failing, and he was close to the end of his life. At this time, early 1939, his Austrian doctor, Hans Pichler, traveled to London to operate on Freud’s cancerous jaw because Freud had complained to an Austrian associate about English doctors. Freud viewed this operation as having extended his life [Cohen, “The Escape of Sigmund Freud,” 2009, p. 194]. In his writing, Freud returned to an earlier theme, religion as collective neurosis, and completed a revision of his important essay, “Moses and Monotheism,” published in German in 1938 and in English in 1939, and his final book published posthumously, “Outline of Psychoanalysis.” *[ article from humanist hertiage on line , Freud museum in London].