Clerkenwell Maxism

Vladimir Ilich Lenin arrived at Clerkenwell Green in April 1902. He was given a small room at number 37a, (which is listed today) with only one window that overlooked a blank wall. It was in this little room that he worked on, and produced Iskra (The Spark), the Russian Marxist newspaper  which was banned in Russia at the time. He produced 17 issues during his 10 months here – about 1 edition every two weeks.

He had decided London would be the perfect place for his exile operations as the Proletariat class struggle was so advanced here in England.  The British Social Democrats were very supportive of his work, and their leader, Quelch, helped Lenin with printing and generally supported him in his efforts.

Years later, when Quelch’s son Harry made a visit to Moscow, the very first question he was asked by Russia’s new leader was “How is everybody at Clerkenwell Green?”

Dawn Denton©

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