E. Belfort Bax

Spargo, Marx and Bax

(6 July 1912)

E. Belfort Bax, Spargo, Marx and Bax, Justice, 6th July 1912, p.6. (letter)
Transcribed by Ted Crawford.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Dear Comrade, – Having recently had a occasion to refer to comrade Spargo’s generally commendable Life of Karl Marx, my attention was called to the following remark on page 316:–

“She [Mrs. Marx] rejoiced in these things, and in an article about her husband written by Mr. Bax for one of the magazines, even though Marx; himself might be annoyed at the fancied slight by Mr. Hyndman and the errors of Mr. Bax.”

Now, I wish to state that the above sentence conveys an entirely false impression as regards myself. The article in question doubtless contains errors. At the time it was written, fully a generation ago, I had only recently read Marx for the first time, and had not, perhaps, fully grasped the bearing of all his positions. But it is none the less true that not only Mrs. Marx, but Marx himself, as also Engels, expressed themselves as very pleased with the article. The proof of this as regards Marx personally may be found in the Sorge correspondence. The statement that Marx was “annoyed” by any “errors” of mine is a pure invention on the part of our friend Spargo. Such errors as there may have been were certainly not of a nature to cause annoyance; and, indeed, the only one thought worthy of explicit mention by Marx – and this only in a private letter to myself – was that I had stated incorrectly that his well-known pamphlet, the 18th Brumaire, was originally published anonymously.

I may add that I think, before writing the above, comrade Spargo might have communicated with me in reference to the facts, more especially since, if I remember rightly, he corresponded with me on other matters concerning the biography while the book was in progress. –


yours, etc.,
E. Belfort Bax


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