Marx's revolutionary comrade Karl Blind, on "Russian despotism"

Blind, Karl, German revolutionist and writer (1826-1907). "Czarism At Bay". Autograph manuscript signed twice (in title and at end).

N. p., October 1904.

8vo. 60 pp.


The complete text (setting copy) of his long essay on current political events in Russia, written shortly before the Revolution of 1905: "As the forces of [Russian despotism; stricken out and corrected to:] Czardom are driven back and crippled more and more, both on sea and on land, curious attempts are being made in England to impress public opinion with the idea that, if [inserted: ever] she were [stricken out: to] actively to turn against Russia, she would have to reckon with an armed alliance between Russia and Germany [...]". With numerous revisions in ink and pencil as well as setting instructions ("all minion on this page" etc.); a few leaves assembled from paragraphs clipped from other sheets and glued together. Occasional edge flaws, but very well preserved.

Even as a law student in Heidelberg, the Mannheim-born Blind promoted a political revolution that would produce a unified, democratic German republic; after a brief imprisonment he participated in the failed Baden insurrection of 1848 led by Friedrich Hecker and Gustav Struve. Blind first met Marx at the Karlsruhe Republican Committee in May 1848, where Marx and Engels declared their frustration with the course of the uprising. As Engels remembered, the 21-year-old Blind was one of only two members of the committee who had supported their opinion. Indeed, Blind was taken prisoner and sentenced to eight years’ confinement, but was soon freed by fellow revolutionaries and escaped to France, and later to England. During Marx’s early weeks of refuge in London he even lodged with Blind: in a letter to Freiligrath written on 5 September 1849, he gives Blind’s address as his own. Blind permanently settled in London in 1852 and continued to advance the cause of democracy as a writer. He was well-connected among European republicans and corresponded with Garibaldi, Kossuth, and Louis Blanc. A man of wide education and interests, Blind composed not only political propaganda and journalism but also biography and works on history and mythology, as well as on German and Indian literature.

Published in the "North American Review", vol. CLXXIX (October 1904), no. 575, pp. 481-493.

Stock Code: BN#23070 Tag: