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Eleanor Marx: A Life

Uploaded 24/10/2014

Rachel Holmes introduces her new book on both the public and the private lives of the exceptional Eleanor Marx (1855–98). Eleanor Marx, the youngest daughter of Karl Marx, changed the world and is one of British history’s great heroes. Her life was one of the most significant in the evolution of social democracy in Victorian Britain. She was Britain’s first woman trade union leader and with William Morris she founded the Socialist League, the precursor to the Labour Party. She was also among the first to make the distinction between a ‘women’s rights movement’ (suffrage) and feminism as a broad political movement. Rachel Holmes has gone back to the original sources to illuminate the story of the woman who did more than any other to transform British politics in the 19th century, a woman unafraid to live by her contradictions and ceaselessly campaigning until her untimely end. Rachel Holmes is the author of The Secret Life of Dr James Barry and The Hottentot Venus: The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman. She is also co-editor, with Lisa Appignanesi and Susie Orbach, of Fifty Shades of Feminism. Recorded live at Bishopsgate Institute on 21 October 2014. If you enjoyed listening to this event do take a look at the other events we have coming up.

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