Mrs Engels

Mrs Engels

A Novel

eBook - 2015
Average Rating:
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From the bathing huts of Ramsgate to the hovels of Soho, from a surreptitious life in Manchester to a notorious one on the handsome new parade that is London's Regents Park Road, we follow Lizzie and the Engels household as it struggles to match its communist principles with its hunger for the high life. At the heart of all the revolutionary tumult stands the woman who will one day become Mrs Engels, as compelling and charismatic a figure as ever walked the streets of Victorian England, or its novels. In giving her new life, Gavin McCrea earns his place in the pantheon of great debutant novelists.
Very little is known about Lizzie Burns, the illiterate Irishwoman who was the longtime lover of Frederick Engels, co-author of The Communist Manifesto. In Gavin McCrea's first novel, she is finally given a voice, one that won't easily be forgotten.Lizzie is a worker in the Manchester, England, cotton mill that Frederick owns. When they move to a posh townhouse in London to be closer to Karl Marx and his family, she must learn to navigate Victorian society. We are privy to Lizzie's intimate, wry, and astute views of Marx and Engels's mission to spur revolution among the working classes.
Publisher: Brunswick, Victoria : Scribe Publications, 2015.
ISBN: 9781936787302
193678730X
9781925113792
1925113795
1936787296
1925228223
1925106683
9781925106688
1925228266
9781925228267
1922247952
9781922247957
Characteristics: 1 online resource (441 pages)

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brangwinn
Mar 30, 2016

A look at Frederick Engels and Karl Marx from the distaff side. Lizzie Burns never marries Engels, but remains his helpmate. Her poor Irish factory background makes her a good mate for Engels. The philosophy he preaches may support the proletariat, but it appears that that really doesn’t include helping his wife. Certainly their union is more egalitarian than others in Victorian England, but she still bears the brunt of the work around the house and he garners the praise. Although at times, I wanted the book to more quickly, the author was true to the period and created a story which showed the climate of the times as well as the relationship between Engels and Mrs. Engels.

u
uncommonreader
Feb 03, 2016

In this novel, McCrea imagines the life of Lizzie Burns, a poor, illiterate cotton worker from Manchester who lived for many years with Engels. It provides a portrait of the domestic life of the Marx and Engels's families. I was sceptical a first - this is not a serious book - but the author gave Lizzie Burns a voice.

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rpavlacic
Dec 22, 2015

A fictitious autobiography by the girlfriend of Frederich Engels, around the time of one of his and Marx' most productive periods, 1870 to 1872. Tongue in cheek and cute ... especially the fish out of water syndrome. Of note is that the champions of the proletariat actually lead upper-class lifestyles. Hmm...

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