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Childhood

4 Extra Debut. The childhood of Karl Marx’s remarkable daughter, who dedicated her life to the pursuit of equality. Read by Tracy-Ann Oberman.

Rachel Holmes's new book is the lively, engaging and informative life story of the daughter of Karl Marx. Beginning with Eleanor's upbringing in a happy and creative household - where she enjoyed the company of her parent's friends including Engels - and moving on to tell of her achievements as a feminist, and activist and also her troubled love life.

Her achievements are remarkable, she was instrumental in preserving her father's memory by sorting through his letters and laying the foundations for his biography. She was a pioneering feminist who made as profound a contribution to British political thought as Mary Wollstonecraft.

Her personal life was turned upside down by a family secret and a lover. She adored the socialist campaigner and would be playwright Edward Aveling, but he was a cheat and and broke her heart in a series of humiliations.

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 the co-editor, with Lisa Appignanesi and Susie Orbach, of Fifty Shades of Feminism.

Read by Tracy-Ann Oberman who is perhaps best known for playing Chrissie Watts in Eastenders for two years. Radio 4 audiences have regularly enjoyed her performances in comedy and drama, and more recently she has written dramas for the network.
Abridged by Julian Wilkinson.
Produced by Elizabeth Allard

22 days left to listen

15 minutes

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Last Tuesday 02:45

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Reader Tracy-Ann Oberman
Producer Elizabeth Allard
Abridger Julian Wilkinson

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