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New Left Review I/138, March-April 1983


Yvonne Kapp

Karl Marx’s Children

In the winter of 1845–6, during which Marx worked with Engels on The German Ideology, Mrs Marx’s brother, the unsatisfactory Edgar, came to stay with the family in Brussels. [*] Excerpted, with permission, from ‘Karl Marx’s Children: Family Life 1844–1855’, in Betty Matthews (ed), Marx: A Hundred Years On, Lawrence and Wishart, London 1983, £4.95. Though she had disclaimed tender feelings for him, and disapproved of this inveterate sponger of no settled occupation at the age of 26, she was genuinely fond of him and glad that he now sought and found employment in a newspaper office. There he was joined in the spring by one of Marx’s closest friends and a fellow revolutionary, Wilhelm Wolff, known as Lupus, to whom Marx was to dedicate the first volume of Das Kapital. At the start of the year 1846 Marx and Engels set up the Brussels Communist Corresponding Committee with the aim of providing information and an exchange of ideas between German, French and English socialists. It was not a political party but a loose organization whose main adherents were in Paris to which, in August, Engels was sent as a delegate from the Brussels Committee, living from October that year until the following March at 23 rue de Lille.

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