Marx-Engels Correspondence 1850

Marx to Engels
In Manchester

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 241;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913.

In mid-November 1850, Engels left London for Manchester, where he worked in the Ermen and Engels firm, first as a clerk and later as a partner until June 1869. He took up this work, in spite of his dislike of it, mainly to provide material assistance for Marx and his family, while Marx concentrated on his studies. Marx’s son, Heinrich Guido, nicknamed because he was born on Guy Fawkes Day, 5 November 1849, marking the anniversary of the Gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

[London,] 19 November 1850

Dear Engels,

Just a line or two to let you know that our little gunpowder plotter, Fawksy, died at ten o'clock this morning. Suddenly, from one of the convulsions he had often had. A few minutes before, he was still laughing and joking. The thing happened quite unexpectedly. You can imagine what it is like here. Your absence at this particular moment makes us feel very lonely.

In my next letter I shall tell you something about Harney from which you will see what an ominous situation he’s in.

K. Marx

If you happen to feel so inclined, drop a few lines to my wife. She is quite distracted.