The Spark that Lit the Revolution

Robert Henderson


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Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
9 February 2023
ISBN: 9781350344730
288 pages

From the publisher

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin visited London on six occasions at the beginning of the twentieth century and it was in this city, where Marx wrote Das Kapital, that the roots of Lenin's political thought took shape. This book, from a former curator of the Russian collections at the British Library, tells the story for the first time of Lenin's intriguing relationship with the enigmatic Apollinariya Yakubova – a revolutionary known to her comrades as the 'primeval force of the Black Earth'.

Based on a series of stunning new archival discoveries from the British Library, published here for the first time, as well as photographs and details of the Russian revolutionaries (and indeed international police spies) who congregated in the East End of London - known then as the 'Little Russian Island', this is the first full exploration of the formation of one of the leading political visionaries of his age. Revealing Lenin's London-based accomplices and political rivals, and shedding new light on his world-view – one which would have such a crucial impact on the twentieth century, this is an essential addition to our knowledge of Lenin the man and of the roots of the Russian revolution.