Edward Aveling

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aveling, Edward


Born Nov. 29, 1851, in Stoke Newington; died Aug. 2, 1898, in London. British socialist.

Aveling studied the natural sciences and became known as a popularizer of C. Darwin’s theories and of atheism. In the early 1880’s he became acquainted with Marxism, and in 1883–84 he edited the socialist journal Progress. Together with his wife Eleanor Marx, K. Marx’s daughter, Aveling played a prominent role in the British and international labor movement and in the propagation of Marxist doctrine. He was active in the Democratic Federation (renamed the Social Democratic Federation in August 1884); he condemned the opportunistic tendencies of the federation’s leader, H. Hyndman, and together with a group of left-wingers he left its ranks.

Aveling was one of the founders of the Socialist League (December 1884). With the support of F. Engels, he sought to convert the league into the nucleus of the mass political party of the proletariat. The anarchists’ predominance in the league in the late 1880’s caused Aveling and his followers to break with it. Having joined the new trade union movement, Aveling helped organize and was active in the Second International. He was a co-translator into English of the first volume of Marx’ Das Kapital and Engels’ Development of Socialism From Utopia to Science [published in English as Socialism, Utopian and Scientific].

Aveling was also known as a playwright and literary scholar. The last years of his life were clouded by ill health.


Marx, K., and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vols. 36–39. (See Index of names.)
Tupoleva, L. F. Sotsialisticheskoe dvizhenie v Anglii v 80-e gody XIX v. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
From there the list grows more unusual: Eleanor Marx, Karl's daughter and the long-suffering wife of socialist radical Edward Aveling; South African writer Olive Schreiner; British literary figures Rebecca West and Vera Brittain; Columbia-educated anthropologists Parsons, Benedict, Margaret Mead, and Zora Neale Hurston.
Eleanor Marx and Edward Aveling, The Working Class Movement in America, edited by Paul Le Blanc (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 2000), $55, 231 pp.; Paul Le Blanc, A Short History of the US Working Class (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 1999), $30 (cloth), $20(paper), 205 pp.
Dawkins' work as a scientific publicist and unrelenting opponent of religious explanations of the universe had its nineteenth-century counterpart in the short but impressive career of the secularist Edward Aveling. Whilst Aveling is too often remembered for his later personal dishonesty to his wife, Eleanor Marx, his achievements as a teacher were impressive.
Typically, whilst Marx's tomb at Highgate remains a place of socialist pilgrimage, Engles instructed that his body should be cremated and his ashes were scattered in the sea off Beachy Head by Eleanor Marx, Edward Aveling and Eduard Bernstein.
Edward Aveling, another well-known atheist during this period, recounted a discussion with Charles Darwin, who like his friend Huxley, identified as an agnostic.
Critical conceptions of the relationship of Carpenter's Towards Democracy to Leaves of Grass solidified almost from the moment of the first edition's publication in 1883, when Edward Aveling in an influential review proclaimed Carpenter to be the "English Walt Whitman." Aveling intended the label as a compliment, but a similar, widely publicized remark by Havelock Ellis was more critical: when a friend showed Towards Democracy to Ellis at a socialist political gathering in London, he handed it back with the dismissive comment, "Whitman and water." Ellis later recanted his hasty judgment, and many British socialists regarded Towards Democracy as a worthy companion-volume to Leaves of Grass.
She translated for publications and worked on her father's manuscripts, usually in the British Museum Reading Room, where she became friendly with George Bernard Shaw, Havelock Ellis, and unfortunately, Edward Aveling.
Edward Aveling, a leading socialist who helped Engels translate Das Kapital.
Marx (and here Martinez is wickedly political) is a pawn in his re-creation of a complex woman, superior to her partner, the Darwin proselytizer and atheist Edward Aveling (with whom she started living after they both founded the Socialist League in 1884).
Through his friendship with socialists such as Ben Tillett, Edward Aveling, and Eleanor Marx Aveling, he gained the education he had been denied as a youngster.
On meeting Edward Aveling, a militant atheist who, on another occasion, failed to persuade Darwin to accept the dedication of his book on atheism, (12) Darwin challenged him: "Why do you call yourselves atheists?"