First edition of Engels' first book

Engels, Friedrich. Die Lage der arbeitenden Klasse in England.

Leipzig, Otto Wigand, 1845.

8vo. 358, (2) pp. (including a single leaf of advertisements). With a lithographic folding map of Manchester. Contemporary half calf over pebbled cloth boards; giltstamped spine sympathetically repaired. White moirée endpapers.


First edition of Engels' first book, written in Manchester in his early twenties, with a three-page preface in English addressed "to the working classes of Great-Britain". Engels exposed the horrific living conditions which the Industrial Revolution had entailed for workers in large industrial cities such as Manchester and Liverpool: mortality from disease was four times that in the surrounding countryside, and mortality from convulsions was ten times as high. Originally addressed to a German audience, the book is considered a classic account of the universal condition of the industrial working class during its time. After their first meeting in 1844, Marx read and was profoundly impressed by the book. It was not translated into English until 1887, as "The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844".

Hinges professionally repaired. Some light browning throughout, mainly confined to margins, but on the whole quite crisp and clean. A remarkably well-preserved copy.

Stammhammer I, 72, 8. Marx-Engels Erstdrucke p. 10 (with illustration p. 8). Rubel p. 243, no. 18 ("338 p." in error). MEGA I, 4, 7-285.

Stock Code: BN#49344 Tags: , ,