Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

The Marx Trot… this year will be on July 7. Hurrah! Leaving from Archway tube 2:30 pm, then to Highgate Cemetery Marx’s Grave about 3pm – heading across the Heath to the old man’s local on Grafton Terrace – and onwards to Engels’ house, then to the pub – now crappy cocktail bar – where the Manifesto was adopted by the Communist League, and much more… All welcome.


Last year’s trot (and links to previous) here:


Pics of the houses:

7 thoughts on “Marx Trot 2012 – July 7

  1. Click to access communistclub.pdf

    The Great Windmill Street venue is where Liebknecht says the Manifesto was adopted by the League of the Just/German Workers Educational Association/Communist League – but some say it was at the White Hart in Dury Lane. In any case Marx lectures on Capital at Great Windmill Street, but see here:

    For Leninists – a diversion on the trot might take in Charing Cross station, and areas near Kings Cross and Pentonville:


  2. Dear Mister,

    My name is Eleanor Marx. I am the third daughter of Karl Marx. I want to warmly thank you for your question. I find it very spiritual and witty. Since not every one in our family community agrees on that opinion, I am forced to describe to you a little bit our collective MODUS OPERANDI with the material from the forum Dialogue.

    The letters are usually brought by my mother, Jenny Marx, née baroness von Westphalen, to our little evening discussion after the supper. Usually my respected mother has already an initially formulated opinion about the correspondances. Between “Silly, not worth an answer” and “To be answered in priority”, she entertains a sophisticated spectrum of evaluative nuances, and we usually go along with her opinion. Usually… but not
    always… Your letter has the pleasant feature to have divided our small community in two very interestingly polarised positions.

    For our good mutual understanding, let me just introduce to you who are the protagonists of that collective reflexion on the Dialogue material. There is my mother Jenny Marx, née von Wesphalen, my father Karl Marx, our friend Mister Friedrich Engels, my older sister Jennychen Longuet, née Marx, my second sister Laura Lafargue, née Marx, and myself, Eleanor, the youngest child of the Marx family.

    “Silly, not worth an answer” was how your note was labelled by Mother. But when she read it, Mister Engels and Father had a long laugh, which seemed, to a certain extent, to annoy Mother. After a non conclusive discussion, we decided to take a vote to know if your letter would be answered or not. You must understand, Mister, that we are a very open-minded and democratic family, and sometimes, when we see that after extensive discussions, we cannot agree, we do not hesitate to casually take votes, and go along with their results, without prejudice or bitterness. We vote on several kinds of things: localisation of the next picnic, dramatic authors for theater recitations, music to be played at our next dance… position to adopt toward “silly” letters… We are a very “chartist” family, as you can see!

    So, Mother voted against the proposition of honoring you with an answer. Jennychen voted with her. I voted with Mister Engels in favor of giving an answer to your witty and amusing question. Father abstained. But I have the certainty that he did it not to annoy Mother. Karl Marx, Mister, had a genuine outburst of joy when your question was read to him. The balance of the decision was then in the hands of Laura, my second sister. If she was to vote with Mother and Jennychen, you would never have heard from us. Laura is a somewhat superficial lady, but she is far less strait-laced than Jennychen, and she has a fair sense of synthesis. She said: “I do not exactly appreciate the question, because of the heavy reference to the absorption of liquors involved in it. However, the tone seems friendly and sincere, and the issue raised changes us a little bit from all these debates on philosophy and political economy we are constantly questionned about.” And she voted the Yea…

    The question was then raised of who should answer to you. Jennychen, Laura and my mother were not interested. Mister Engels and Father were tempted, chuckling constantly. But again, they did not dare… The debate went on and on. And suddenly Father said: “Let Tussy take care of it”. My mother stared at him. Father pursued: “What? She just turned 22. These issues are not forbidden to her anymore. She made very intelligent, decent and accurate observations during the discussion. I am certain she will handle that with precision and elegance.” My mother finally accepted, under certain conditions, so here I am. And here is my answer:

    We had, Mister, a great pleasure to read your letter. Despite the fact that they will not dare to formulate it, my father and Mister Engels have obviously a very elevated opinion of “the legendary pub crawl between Central London and Hampstead”. But your question is not answerable. Whatever our private opinion on these locals and their activities can be, to see you, an obviously well informed man of the end of XXth century, ask us, people of the 1870’s, what that “pub crawl” -or, to that effect, anything else- BECAME, is simply an unsolvable paradox. So I have the pleasure to send you the question back. Please, Man of the Future, let us know what our current Londonian Liquor & Entertainment distribution network “became”. And accept my warm and respectful thanks for a genuine moment of family amusement.

    Eleanor Marx
    (letter revised by Jenny Marx, née Baroness von Westphalen)


  3. A London pub crawl with Karl Marx, 1850s
    Wilhelm Liebknecht (1826-1900) participated in the Paris rising of 1848 and was subsequently gaoled in Switzerland for his part in a republican revolt before being exiled to Britain in 1850.
    There he met Karl Marx, becoming a family friend, sharing country walks and trips to Hampstead Heath. As his recollection of one raucous evening on Tottenham Court Road reveals, Marx and Liebknecht also enjoyed a drink.
    Liebknecht returned to Germany in 1862, becoming a leading figure in the new German Social-Democratic Party and member of the Reichstag.
    This account is from the book Karl Marx: Biographical Memoirs. written by Wilhelm Liebknecht some 40 years after the event.
    A London pub crawl with Karl Marx, late 1850s
    One evening, Edgar Bauer, acquainted with Marx from their Berlin time and then not yet his personal enemy […], had come to town from his hermitage in Highgate for the purpose of “making a beer trip.” The problem was to “take something” in every saloon between Oxford Street and Hampstead Road – making the something a very difficult task, even by confining yourself to a minimum, considering the enormous number of saloons in that part of the city. But we went to work undaunted and managed to reach the end of Tottenham Court Road without accident.
    There loud singing issued from a public house; we entered and learned that a club of Odd Fellows were celebrating a festival. We met some of the men belonging to the “party,” and they at once invited us “foreigners” with truly English hospitality to go with them into one of the rooms. We followed them in the best of spirits, and the conversation naturally turned to politics – we had been easily recognised as Germany fugitives; and the Englishmen, good old-fashioned people, who wanted to amuse us a little, considered it their duty to revile thoroughly the German princes and the Russian nobles. By “Russian” they meant Prussian nobles. Russia and Prussia are frequently confounded in England, and not alone of account of their similarity of name. For a while, everything went smoothly. We had to drink many healths and to bring out and listen to many a toast.
    Then the unexpected suddenly happened…
    Edgar Bauer, hurt by some chance remark, turned the tables and ridiculed the English snobs. Marx launched an enthusiastic eulogy on German science and music – no other country, he said, would have been capable of producing such masters of music as Beethoven, Mozart, Haendel and Haydn, and the Englishmen who had no music were in reality far below the Germans who had been prevented hitherto only by the miserable political and economic conditions from accomplishing any great practical work, but who would yet outclass all other nations. So fluently I have never heard him speak English.
    For my part, I demonstrated in drastic words that the political conditions in England were not a bit better than in Germany [… ] the only difference being that we Germans knew our public affairs were miserable, while the Englishmen did not know it, whence it were apparent that we surpassed the Englishmen in political intelligence.
    The brows of our hosts began to cloud […]; and when Edgar Bauer brought up still heavier guns and began to allude to the English cant, then a low “damned foreigners!” issued from the company, soon followed by louder repetitions. Threatening words were spoken, the brains began to be heated, fists were brandished in the air and – we were sensible enough to choose the better part of valor and managed to effect, not wholly without difficulty, a passably dignified retreat.
    Now we had enough of our “beer trip” for the time being, and in order to cool our heated blood, we started on a double quick march, until Edgar Bauer stumbled over some paving stones. “Hurrah, an idea!” And in memory of mad student pranks he picked up a stone, and Clash! Clatter! a gas lantern went flying into splinters. Nonsense is contagious – Marx and I did not stay behind, and we broke four or five street lamps – it was, perhaps, 2 o’clock in the morning and the streets were deserted in consequence. But the noise nevertheless attracted the attention of a policeman who with quick resolution gave the signal to his colleagues on the same beat. And immediately countersignals were given. The position became critical.
    Happily we took in the situation at a glance; and happily we knew the locality. We raced ahead, three or four policemen some distance behind us. Marx showed an activity that I should not have attributed to him. And after the wild chase had lasted some minutes, we succeeded in turning into a side street and there running through an alley – a back yard between two streets – whence we came behind the policemen who lost the trail. Now we were safe. They did not have our description and we arrived at our homes without further adventures.
    Source: Karl Marx: Biographical Memoirs, by Wilhelm Liebknecht. First German edition, Nuremberg, 1896; first English translation (by E Untermann), 1901. Reprinted by Journeyman Press, London, 1975.

    Above: Karl and Jenny. Marx married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843 and she accompanied him into exile. The family lived in Dean Street, Soho, until 1855 when Jenny inherited some money enabling the family to move to a small house in Primrose Hill.
    Go to the Contents page to find more eyewitness history, or see our Eyewitness accounts of 19th century history.


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