Mary Esther Harding was born in Shropshire, England, the daughter of a dental surgeon. She was educated at home by a governess until age 11. She enrolled at the London School of Medicine for Women, where she graduated in 1914 in a class of nine students. She interned at the Royal Infirmary in London, the first hospital in London to accept women. During this time, she wrote her first book, The Circulatory Failure of Diphtheria. Ironically, she contracted the disease herself. Constance Long, a friend and psychoanalyst, gave her a copy of Beatrice Hinkle's translation of Psychology of the Unconscious by Carl Jung. Eleanor went to Zurich, Switzerland and entered analysis with Jung. In Zurich she met and befriended Kristine Mann and Eleanor Bertine, also physicians and student analysts. She moved to New York City in 1924 and became a pioneer of Jungian psychology in the USA. Each year, the three women traveled to Zurich for two months of analysis and spent summers studying and working at Bailey Island, Maine, Dr. Mann's family home. With Dr. Bertine, she co-founded the Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology and the Analytical Psychology Club of New York. She was a prolific writer of books and scholarly papers and a frequent public speaker. The Way of All Women (1933), her first Jungian book, was a bestseller; it has been reprinted several times and translated into many languages Her other well-known books included Women's Mysteries: Ancient and Modern (1935), Journey Into Self (1956), and The Parental Image: Its Injury and Reconstruction (1965).