Friedrich Engels

German social scientist and political theorist, 1820-1895

"Together with Karl Marx, Engels was the father of Marxist theory. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research in Manchester. In 1848 he co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx, though he also authored and co-authored (primarily with Marx) many other works, and later he supported Marx financially to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death, Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels organized Marx's notes on the ""Theories of Surplus Value,"" which he later published as the ""fourth volume"" of Capital. He has also made contributions to family economics."

Source: Wikipedia

Engels, Friedrich

political theorist (1820-1895). Autograph letter signed ("F. Engels"). London. 8vo. 1 p. on bifolium.
$ 480,200 / 400.000 € (76570/BN49529)

Unpublished letter to the publisher Maurice Lachâtre, regarding the project of a biography of Karl Marx, to be written by Engels: "J’accepte votre proposition d'écrire l'histoire de Karl Marx qui sera en même temps celle du parti Communiste allemand d'avant 1850 & du parti socialiste d'après 1852. Envisagée sous ce point de vue, la biographie d'un homme deviendra l'histoire du parti dont Marx est sans contredit la plus haute personnification, & sera du plus grand intérêt pour la démocratie française.

C'est cette considération qui m'engagera à me distraire de mes travaux pour me consacrer à cette œuvre qui demande des recherches & du temps pour être digne du sujet ; mais je ne puis consentir à m'occuper de ce travail que lorsque, dans une seconde lettre, vous m'aurez dit vos conditions que, sans doute par inadvertance, vous avez négligé de mentionner dans votre lettre du 14 février [...]" ("I accept your offer to write a biography of Karl Marx which would also be a history of the German Communist Party before 1850 and of the Socialist Party after 1852. Considered from this point of view, the biography of a man will become the history of the party whose undisputed highest personification is Marx, and it will be of the greatest interest for French democracy. It is this consideration that will move me to put aside my other work and dedicate myself to this oeuvre which demands research and time to be worthy of its subject. However, I cannot agree to commit myself to this effort until, in a second letter, you will have told me your conditions, which, undoubtedly by mistake, you have neglected to mention in your letter of February 14 [...]"). - Between 1872 and 1875 Maurice Lâchatre published the first French translation of "Das Kapital" and thus was in close contact with Marx. In spite of Engels' apparent enthusiasm, the biography envisaged in this letter would never be realized. In a subsequent letter, dated 31 March 1873, Engels would go on to express his dissatisfaction with Lachâtre's ideas for the biography, presenting his own conditions: he would have written the book without remuneration but demanded a donation for the foundation of an international weekly organ for the First International, to be edited by Karl Marx. - Traces of original folds..

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Engels, Friedrich

political theorist (1820-1895). Autograph letter signed ("F. Engels"). London. 8vo. 1¼ pp. on bifolium.
$ 540,225 / 450.000 € (76571/BN49530)

To the publisher Maurice Lachâtre, detailing his conditions for an envisaged biography of Karl Marx and a history of the Communist Party: "Dans votre lettre du 16 mars, vous paraissez croire que 'je vous présente un livre sur le parti communiste' tandis que c’est vous qui, en me demandant d’écrire une biographie sérieuse de Marx, m’aviez demandé l’histoire de ce parti. Marx ayant mené une vie essentiellement active, raconter sa vie, c’est faire l’histoire du mouvement philosophique & révolutionnaire allemand & international depuis 1842 pour y tracer sa participation personnelle & l’influence de ses écrits.

Si vous ne désirez qu’une biographie de reporter, c’est déjà fait. L’Illustration en a publié une, & si vous m’en envoyez un exemplaire, je suis prêt d’y faire les corrections nécessaires. L’étude que je comptais faire devant être un travail sérieux, j’aurais cru vous faire injure en supposant que vous qui dans cette affaire commerciale prenez le rôle de capitaliste, vous auriez voulu échapper à cette première règle sociale, appliquée même dans notre société bourgeoise, que le capitaliste paie le travailleur proportionnellement à son travail. Cependant, comme vous dites que vous n’agrandissez votre capital que pour le mettre au service de la communauté, je consens à donner mon travail, à la condition que vous consacrerez une somme à la fondation d’un organe international hebdomadaire dont le besoin est impérieux pour le parti, & que Marx rédigerait [...]". ("In your letter of March 16 you appear to believe that 'I present you a book on the Communist Party' although it is you who, in asking me to write a serious biography of Marx, has asked me for a history of the party. As he led an essentially active life, to recount Marx's life is to write the history of the German and international philosophical and revolutionary movement since 1842, so as to trace his personal participation and the influence of his writings. If you just expect a reporter's biography, that has already been done. 'L'Illustration' published one and if you send me a copy of it I am willing to do the necessary corrections. The study that I hoped to undertake must be a serious work. I would have believed to have wronged you in supposing that you, who in this commercial matter takes the role of the capitalist, would have wished to escape from that first social rule which is applied even in our bourgeois society that the capitalist pays the worker in proportion to his labor. However, since you say that you only increase your capital in order to allocate it to the community, I consent to give my labour under the condition that you will grant a sum to the foundation of an international weekly organ that is urgently needed by the party and that Marx would edit [...]"). - In a letter to Lachâtre from 16 March 1872, Engels had quite enthusiastically agreed to the project in principle but urged the publisher to set out his conditions. The response apparently left Engels dissatisfied. Although he was still willing to collaborate with Lachâtre, the project never came about. The present letter reveals the interesting detail that Engels planned to publish a weekly organ for the First International with Karl Marx as editor. Between 1872 and 1875 Maurice Lâchatre published the first French translation of "Das Kapital" and was therefore in close contact with Marx. - Slightly creased with traces of dog-ears to the lower corners..

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Engels, Friedrich

Eigenh. Brief mit U. ("F. Engels").
Autograph ist nicht mehr verfügbar

A highly remarkable and extensive letter with political content to the English stockbroker and author Thomas Allsop (1795-1880), particularly on the international and the political situation in Eastern Europe whose key issue lies in the domestic policy of Russia: the impending revolution in his own country is threatening to drag Tsar Alexander II. into war with Turkey. "My dear friend. A visit from a friend from Liverpool who came to town for a few days, unfortunately prevented me from replying earlier to your letter. We shall all be glad to see you here in London and do everything in our power to reconcile you with the world & with life. As you say, this Eastern affair is exceedingly complicated, but as Russia is the only moving & acting power in it, so are her internal necessities the only thread that can lead through all these complications & render them intelligible. Russia has the choice between a revolution & a war of conquest; there is no third outlet open to her; and as Alexander certainly will not have a revolution, war he must make. Besides, there is only one war which might avert revolution: a war with Turkey. What Mayence & the boundary of the Rhine was to Louis Napoleon, that is Constantinople & the Nosporus to Alexander: the only conquests capable of rousing national chauvinism to an extent sufficient to overcome all other shapes of public feeling, & to crush any opposition by new popularity. And, as Louis Napoleon would have been satisfied with a small slice to begin with, & the constitution of the remainder of the coveted territory in an independent state, to be swallowed hereafter, so would it perfectly suffice to Russia to reannex to small strip only which she lost in 1856, if at the same time the rest of Turkey in Europe were transformed into Christial vassal states of the Porte, in reality outposts of Russia [...] As to Austria, the inherent stupidity of that government makes its policy incalculable [...] As to Poland, never fear. She is less Russianized now than a hundred years ago [...] The Poles in Prussia are equally indestructible; Germanization proceeds very slowly except in those portions which were settled & inhabited before 1772. In Austria the Poles are not only not interfered with, but so placed that they can perfectly take care of themselves & make of Galicia the headquarters of Polish agitation. What the Russian government think of Poland was plainly shown in the Crimean war: they rather sacrificed all their armies in the long marches to the Crimea than to allow the war to take place near the Polish frontier. But I must conclude. Very faithfully yours, F. Engels." - On 6 December 1876, the first social revolutionary demonstration should arise in St. Petersburg. Shortly after Russia had signed a secret agreement with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Romania, it declared war on Turkey on 24 June 1877. - Small traces of folding, but overall in mint condition. Extremely rare.