Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library


Bulletin of the Marx Memorial Library (1958), 5, (1), 2–3.


ON THE PASSI~G OF 41, MLITLAND P~RK ROAD 1'.. recent BBC programme reminded us .ofthe ampend Lng demolition of the hous~ il?- which Karl Marx spent. the last fifteen years of his life - No. 41 Maitland Park Road, off Haverstock Hill, in north-west London. Its disappearance will be a sad event for socialists of all countries: so many memories of the great revolutionist centre about it. Maitland Park Road is shaped like ~bay, and No.41 vias a dignified house, one of a pair of villas, standing at the very middle of the bay, and shadowed by trees. Ma.rx I s study vias on the first floor, the window in those days overlooking a park; and Dr. Edwar d Aveling, who married Marx's youngest daughter, Eleanor, lived opposite at No. 67. Paul Lafargue, the husband of Laura Marx, has left us a description of the study. Opposite the window, ~nd both sides of the fireplace , Viere bookshelves cr ovd cd ,;Ii th books, arrnnged not according to size but according to content. Thero va s a small, plain writing table, a wooden armchair and n leather sofa; more books on the mantelpiece, together with cign.rs, matches, tobacco, and photographs of Marx's wife and daughters, Frederick Engels and ~Vilhelm Wolff. At the same period Engels lived only'" quarter of an hour's walk away, at No. 122 Regent.ts Park Road : (moving Inter to No.4l in the same road, close to the Zoological Gardens). He ~as thus able to visit Marx constantly, his regular route skirting the green expanse of Primrose Hill, crossing Hnverstook.Hill and climbing Maitland Park Road. Those years from 1~68 io 1883 were for Marx a time of intense activity, carried on in face of illness which became ever more frequent arid severe, of great personal sorrows and of acute st~ggle within the international socialist movement ngainst the anarchists led by Bakunin. He was working with all his might to finish the second and third volumes of "Capital", and at the same time carried on a·volttminous correspondence with socialists in Germany, France and elsewhere, who continually sought his advice upon important questions of party policy. Very often delegations arrived for consultations, and individual leading socialists from all parts of the world came for the benefit of discussions with him. When he could spare time for recreation, he loved· to walk with his famiiy and friends on Hampstead Heath, and invoke the many famous poets and novelists, from Shelley to Dickens, in one way or another associated with the'Henth. It was from· the ho~e in ~~itland Park Rond that M~rx went to The Hague for the international Congress of 1872, at whioh the anarchists were defented and Bakunin and his closest associates expelled. The subsequent attempts of· the Bakuninists to organise a rival international, and, aided by John Hales, the ex-secretary of the International, to get Marx and Engels expelled from the -2-

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