A comprehensive ‘lost’ biography providing a major addition to the existing literature on Marx.

 

Frank Thomas Walker in 1969

Frank Thomas Walker (1918-1996) had a lifetime interest in Karl Marx. During his working years he would spend most of his leisure time reading, researching and writing about Marx and he continued with this interest after his retirement. He continued to revise and add to his research until his death.

Living in London until 1976, Frank was a well known visitor in many libraries including the Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell where he spent many hours. He also frequented the many second hand bookshops throughout London including the bookstalls in Farringdon Road (now gone) and he was able to build up a large library of books and other materials to aid his research. He engaged the assistance of his family to obtain access to and photocopies of additional materials from library resources around the country and abroad, and he made effective use of his membership of the British Library. He corresponded with like minded individuals in Germany, France and Italy to further his research.

Frank appreciated that he needed to be able to read the literature not only published in English but also that published in French, German and Russian and, like Marx, taught himself these skills. His library of well over 3000 items, contained books, journals, copies of letters, and pamphlets in all these languages and formed the basis for his research materials. His library was split up when sold after his death.

This book was written by Frank over many years and revised by him several times. He never felt it was finished and never looked to publish it during his lifetime. Whilst pertinent personal information is included, the biography concentrates on Marx’s writings, his contemporary radical thinkers and activists, and his influence on the main political events happening in Europe during his lifetime. Some of the information contained within should be familiar to readers already knowledgeable about Marx, but there will also be fresh gems of information and interpretations of events that will add to the knowledge of Marxist scholars everywhere.

The actual manuscript was in the form of typewritten sheets with a large number of hand written amendments and additions and it has taken a long time for a publishable version to be prepared. At last it is complete and all Frank’s research can now be accessed by academics and anyone with an interest in Marx. This work will be welcomed by everyone interested in Marx’s life, work and times and would be a useful addition to many libraries. Published as an e-book on CD-ROM, 2009, 410 pages.