Yvonne Kapp’s monumental biography of the daughter of Karl Marx who became a radical activist
Eleanor Marx is one of the most tragically overlooked radical figures in history, usually overshadowed by her father, Karl. But not only did she edit, translate, transcribe and collaborate with her father, she also led an extraordinary life as a labour organiser, trade unionist, translator, actor, writer and feminist.
Much of this we only know because of this highly acclaimed, outstanding exception to the omission of Eleanor Marx from history. Yvonne Kapp’s biography was first published at the height of feminist organising in the 1970s. Kapp brilliantly succeeds in capturing Eleanor’s spirit, from a lively child opining on the world’s affairs, to the new woman, aspiring to the stage, earning her living as a free intellectual, and helping to lead England’s unskilled workers at the height of the new unionism. She was always more than, yet at the same time inescapably, Karl Marx’s daughter. It is also, inevitably, an unrivalled biography of the Marx household in Victorian London, of the Marx circle, and of Friedrich Engels, the family’s extraordinary mentor.
This single-volume edition of Kapp’s foundational biography includes an introduction by Sally Alexander.