Mrs. Engels: A Novel
$16.95
Author:
Genres: Historical, Literary
Tags: 2015, Date: Oct 15, Debuts, Star: All Stars, Star: Kirkus, Star: LJ, Star: PW, Stars
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Year: 2015
Length: 368 p.
ASIN: 1936787296
ISBN: 1936787296
Very little is known about Lizzie Burns, the illiterate Irishwoman who was the longtime lover of Frederick Engels, coauthor of The Communist Manifesto. In Gavin McCrea’s first novel, the unsung Lizzie is finally given a voice that won’t be forgotten.
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About the Book
“Richly imagined. . . beautifully realized”—starred review, Publishers Weekly“
This is the best kind of historical fiction.”—Lucy Scholes, The Independent
Grabs the reader from the first sentence and doesn’t let go.”—starred review, Kirkus Reviews
Very little is known about Lizzie Burns, the illiterate Irishwoman who was the longtime lover of Frederick Engels, coauthor of The Communist Manifesto. In Gavin McCrea’s first novel, the unsung Lizzie is finally given a voice that won’t be forgotten.Lizzie is a poor worker in the Manchester, England, mill that Frederick owns. When they move to London to be closer to Karl Marx and his family, she must learn to navigate the complex landscapes of Victorian society. We are privy to Lizzie’s intimate, wry views on Marx and Engels’s mission to spur revolution among the working classes, and to her ambivalence toward her newly luxurious circumstances. Lizzie is haunted by her first love (a revolutionary Irishman), burdened by a sense of duty to right past mistakes, and torn between a desire for independence and the pragmatic need to be cared for.Despite or because of their differences—in nationality, class, education, and religion —Lizzie and Frederick remain drawn to each other, making Mrs. Engels a complex and high-spirited love story.
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