Karl Marx's daughter Eleanor (1855-1898) was an important figure in
her own right. Active in Britain, she joined the Social Democratic
Federation (SDF) in the early 1880s. When it split in 1884, Eleanor
Marx, with William Morris and others, formed the Socialist League.
At that time socialist ideas were very marginal in Britain - mostly
the property of veterans from the old Chartist movement or of
political exiles. Twenty years' speaking, leafleting, and
paper-selling by the SDF and the Socialist League created the basis
on which the Labour Party was able to emerge by 1900.
Eleanor Marx contributed to the Socialist League newspaper
"Commonweal" on women's and other issues and wrote a pamphlet: "The
In 1886 she toured the USA with the German socialist leader Wilhelm
Liebknecht raising money for the German Social Democratic Party
(which was then illegal) and in support of the Haymarket affair.
She organised, wrote, and spoke for militant gas workers and dockers
in Britain. She was one of the pioneers of what is now the GMB,
helping its first leader, Will Thorne, and teaching him to read and