The Friedrich Engels & Karl Marx Birthday Extravaganza Tours
Saturday 5 May at 1pm, Wednesday 28 November at 6pm, Saturday 1 December at 1pm and the Champagne Socialist Pub Tour And Quiz Saturday 5 May at 6.30pm
This is such an interesting tour - I can highy recommend it - if you love history and you love Manchester and want to get it glued together by an amazing wordsmith than this tour is one not to miss! Patrick Wetzels, after an Engels' tour, November, 2017
Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx were the fathers of communism. In 2018 Engels will be 198 years old but Marx will be the big 200.
Engels lived, on and off, for 22 years in Manchester and during this time Marx would stay with Engels for long periods. The city appeared in the 1840s to confirm for both of them the truth behind their ideas of how society was ordered and where it was inevitably headed. It seemed clear to them how the tensions being created in this new industrial society between 'bourgeoisie' and 'proletariat' was creating such overwhelming pressure a crisis must come leading to the dictatorship of the proletariat and thus on to full communism.
The fact they filtered their ideas as young men through the experience of Manchester was crucial. As the well-known historian Asa Briggs wrote in Victorian Cities, ‘If Engels had lived not in Manchester...his conception of class and his theories of the role of class might have been very different. In this case Marx might have been not a communist but a currency reformer. The fact that Manchester was taken to be the symbol of the age in the 1840s was of central importance in modern world history.’
There are several tours this year. These follow Engels and Marx's footsteps around the city and reveal a dynamic, fascinating and diverting story. They also paint a picture of Manchester at, perhaps, its time of greatest international significance.There's drinking to be had too, a favourite pastime of the two Germans.
The first tour on 5 May at 1pm is on the occasion of Karl Marx's birthday. He'll be 200 years old. The tour will work its way south west and examine the clubs and social life of Engels as well as the areas Marx would visit with Engels. There will be a birthday surprise, after all, this one's a biggy for the man from Trier.
Later that same day there is the Champagne Socialist Pub Tour And Quiz from 6.30pm which visits pubs open when Engels and Marx lived in the city. Both Engels and Marx were drinkers and the tour brings to life not only their ideas but also the drinking times and venues of the Victorian period in which they moved through Manchester. This should be a proper laugh of tour with a great deal of content to mull over as well as prizes to win in the quiz.
On Thursday 28 November at 6pm there's another birthday occasion, in this case it's Friedrich Engels 198th birthday. This tour takes in areas of the city Engels knew well, visits the sites of the buildings and the slums, such as Little Ireland, he featured in his famous book The Condition of the Working Class in England. It finishes at First Street to view the recently erected statue of Engels. There will be time then to toast Engels' birthday.
On Saturday 1 December the final Engels and Marx extravaganza takes in Chetham's Library to view the books Engels and Marx read. It also examines the areas where Engels' partner, Mary Burns, lived. The tour ends up in a desolate graveyard with a demonstration of the eloquence of Engels' writing. Of course, the tour includes a pub stop to toast Engels and wish him many happy (few days late) returns.
For all the tours, except the Champagne Socialist Pub Tour, meet outside John Rylands Library, Deansgate, City centre, M3 3EH, 10 minutes before your tour time.
For the Champagne Socialist Pub Tour And Quiz meet at The Angel Pub, 6 Angel Street, M4 4BQ, 10 minutes before your tour time.
Tickets £10, including a fact sheet about Engels and Marx in Manchester.
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