Marx-Engels Correspondence 1870

Engels To Marx

Source: Marx and Engels on Ireland, Progress Publishers, 1971;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

January 25, 1870

I've at last received Prendergast and — as it always happens — two copies at once, namely, W. H. Smith and Sons have also got hold of one. I shall have finished with it tonight. The book is important because it contains many excerpts from imprinted Bills. No wonder it is out of print. Longman and Co. must have been furious at having to put their name on such a book, and since there certainly was little demand for it in England (Mudies have not a single copy) they shall sell the edition for pulping as soon as they can or, possibly, to a company of Irish landlords (for the same purpose) and certainly will not print a second. What Prendergast says about the Anglo-Norman period is correct inasmuch as the Irish and Anglo-Irish, who lived at some distance from the Pale, continued during that period the same lazy life as before the invasion, and inasmuch as the wars of that period too were more “easy-going” (with few exceptions), and did not have the distinctly devastating character they assumed in the 16th century and which afterwards became the rule. But his theory that the enormous amiability of the Irishmen, and especially the Irish women, immediately disarms even the most hostile immigrant, is just thoroughly Irish, since the Irish way of thinking lacks all sense of proportion.

A new edition of Giraldus Cambrensis has appeared: Giraldi Cambrensis Opera, ed. J. S. Brewer, London, Longman and Co., 1863, at least 3 volumes; could you find out the price for me and whether it would be possible to get cheaply, secondhand, the whole work or at least the volume containing “Topographia Hibernica” and perhaps also “Hibernia expugnata"?

In order not to make a fool of myself over Cromwell, I'll have to put in a lot more work on the English history of the period. That will do no harm, but it will take up a lot of time.