MARX, Karl.

Advance announcements of the publication of Das Kapital.

[In:] Der Vorbote. Politische und sozial-ökonomische Zeitschrift. Zentralorgan der Sektionsgruppe deutscher Sprache der Internationalen Arbeiterassociation.

Geneva: Verlag der Association, 1867 Stock Code: 120907
£15,000.00

First edition of Marx's announcements for Capital, part of a complete run of Der Vorbote, from the library of anarchist Johann Most

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Notes

First edition of Marx's formal announcements, both signed and unsigned, of the publication of the first volume of his magnum opus, Das Kapital, in the uncommon revolutionary socialist journal Der Vorbote, with an exceptional provenance, being from the library of the German radical journalist and agitator Johann Most, who played a part in Capital's publication history and with whom Marx had a turbulent relationship.

When the first volume of Capital was finally published on 14 September 1867, Marx and Engels "set about breaking through the silence of the German press" (Draper I 1867.1) by placing notices in various international papers, with limited success. Marx had written to Johann Philipp Becker, the founder and editor of Der Vorbote, in April 1867 to pre-emptively ask for his help; as a result, the first advance announcement appeared in Der Vorbote's issue of the same month, with two further pre-publication announcements printed in the June and July issues. The official announcement of Capital's publication was printed in the September issue, and successive notices printed in October and November. These were some of the earliest notices to be printed after Capital's publication and are all included in this volume, along with other highly valuable contributions from most of the major figures of 19th-century international communism.

Johann Most is best known for his later anarchist period in America but his reputation as an agitator was established in Germany as the editor of a series of social-democratic papers. Most was responsible for the first abridgement of Capital (volume 1) published in 1873 under the title Kapital und Arbeit. Taking issue with some of Most's abbreviations, Marx revised the abridgement but stipulated that his name not be used in connection with it because it remained imperfect. After being expelled from Berlin in 1878, Most emigrated to London where he repeatedly visited Marx but, despite his attempts to sway Marx to his more radical opinions, Most only succeeded in distancing himself further. Despite their disapproval, when Marx and Engels were informed of Most's arrest in the wake of Alexander II's assassination they immediately sent a letter to the London Daily News in his defence, and Marx even contributed to the fund against his prosecution. Most fled to America in 1882. On the news of Marx's death he gave a speech at the memorial meeting held in New York.

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Description

Octavo (204 x 122 mm), a complete run (72 monthly issues from 1866 to 1871). Recent purple half morocco and marbled paper boards, new endpapers, retaining the original front free endpaper (see below). Spine lettered and dated in gilt (with the title misspelled as "Der Verbote").

Condition

Contemporary ownership inscription of "J. Most" - Johann Most (1846-1906) - in blue pencil, a second inscription to title page of April 1869 issue, and occasional annotation to the text. Contents generally clean with occasional spotting and dampmarks, some stab-holes visible at gutters, a few issues trimmed in the binding process, those printed on inferior paper stock fragile at the margins and with a few short tears and more toning than others, 1 full leaf (April 1868) and 1 half-leaf (January 1870) cut away and 4 other instances of excised portions clipped from the text by a previous owner; a rare survival.

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