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Following the failure of the 1848 revolution a great many political refugees headed for England – the richly cosmopolitan hub of an Empire, and the commercial-industrial locus of the world. Among the German contingent of exiles were, famously, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. But many less luminous names, no less well-educated in their native Germany, also settled in England and made their way there, whether as teachers or tailors, journalists or musicians, polemicists or political organizers. Few of these exiles knew how long they would have to call England home: some became keen Anglophiles, while others remained resolutely wedded in spirit to ‘the old country.’
Rosemary Ashton’s study, first published in 1986, charts the fortunes of this disparate group and illuminates Victorian England through their eyes, so making a fascinating account of a neglected area of Anglo-German relations.
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