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School of History

Seamus Flaherty

Research Topic: The Reception of Karl Marx in Late-Nineteenth Century Britain: The Social and Political Ideas of Henry Mayers Hyndman and Ernest Belfort Bax


I am undertaking research on the intellectual history of Socialism in Britain. More specifically, I work on the so-called ‘socialist revival’ of the 1880s. My thesis focuses on the way in which Karl Marx’s ideas were received by British socialists during that decade. I pay particular attention to how they were received by Henry Mayers Hyndman and Ernest Belfort Bax, the first Marx-enthusiasts to emerge at that time. I aim to reconstruct not only how Hyndman and Bax read Marx’s work and combined his thought with the work of other late-nineteenth century thinkers – J. S. Mill, Herbert Spencer, and Auguste Comte, for example – but to reconstruct, also, their interaction with Friedrich Engels and the creation of ‘Marxism’ as an invented intellectual tradition.