Edward Aveling and Eleanor Marx-Aveling

“The difference between Byron and Shelley”


Source: Marx Engels On Literature and Art, Progress Publishers, 1976;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden;
First published: in Die Neue Zeit, VI. Jg., 1888;

Marx, who knew and understood poets just as well as philosophers and economists, used to say: “The true difference between Byron and Shelley consists in this, that those who understand and love them consider it fortunate that Byron died in his thirty-sixth year, for he would have become a reactionary bourgeois had he lived longer; conversely, they regret Shelley’s death at the age of twenty-nine, because he was a revolutionary through and through and would consistently have stood with the vanguard of socialism.”