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Mrs Engels by Gavin McCrea

Mrs Engels (2015)

by Gavin McCrea

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11414105,887 (3.62)10
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    Twain's End by Lynn Cullen (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Fictionalized stories of the women behind famous men.

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» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Eh. Lizzie never came to life for me, which is a near-fatal flaw in a book that relies so heavily on one character. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This is the fictional story of Lizzie Burns, the long-time companion of Frederick Engels. Both Engels and Marx do not fare well in the story – neither come across driven by vision, morals or the conviction I wanted them to have! Moving backwards and forward in time, between London and Manchester, from the social city set and the mill workers, Lizzie’s voice is strong and increasingly outspoken. She’s troubled by the choices she’s made – self-preservation, survival, faith, love all play a part. I loved following the workings of the house in Primrose Hill, but finished the book wanted Lizzie to have found either greater happiness or influence.
( )
  Mitch1 | Mar 25, 2018 |
Disappointing and trashy. ( )
  Siubhan | Feb 28, 2018 |
Eh. Lizzie never came to life for me, which is a near-fatal flaw in a book that relies so heavily on one character. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
I like historical novels that chose to tell the story from the point of view of a background or lesser known character and this novel is a perfect example. The narrator is Lizzie Burns, the Manchester mill worker who became Fredrick Engels common law wife immediately following the death of her sister, Mary, who had been Engels' mistress. She's a marvellous character - a strong, feisty woman struggling to accommodate herself to a life of leisure with Engels in London and maintain her independence. McCrea creates a beautiful stylised language for her - a mix of Victoriana, rough working class street slang and a touch of Irish whimsy. The sights, sounds, tastes and smells of Victorian London and Manchester give the reader a subtle but convincing picture of the period without smothering the story with lashings of research.The full cast of characters through Engels, Karl Marx and his family, various servants, Irish republicans and French Communards are perfectly and sympathetically portrayed. Highly recommended. ( )
  stephengoldenberg | Apr 6, 2016 |
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A tale inspired by the enigmatic Irish lover of Communist Manifesto co-author Frederick Engels traces the experiences of an impoverished factory employee who navigates complex landscapes of Victorian society.

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An edition of this book was published by Catapult.

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