East And West

This damp and dreary afternoon I scanned a batch of colour slides from Highgate Cemetery produced in 2008.

I begin with the entrance to the West Cemetery Entrance where visitors are going the queue for their booked visits; and with Swain’s Lane dividing the West gates on our left from the East entrance on our right.

These imposing mausolea occupy the East side, the most famous resident of which is

Karl Marx, who brings hordes of visitors from all over the world.

Karl Heinrich Marx FRSA (German: [maʁks]; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883)[13] was a German philosophereconomisthistoriansociologistpolitical theoristjournalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in TrierGermany, Marx studied law and philosophy at university. He married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and publish his writings, researching in the reading room of the British Museum. His best-known titles are the 1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto and the three-volume Das Kapital (1867–1883). Marx’s political and philosophical thought had enormous influence on subsequent intellectual, economic and political history. His name has been used as an adjective, a noun and a school of social theory.

Marx’s critical theories about society, economics and politics, collectively understood as Marxism, hold that human societies develop through class conflict. In the capitalist mode of production, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes(known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and the working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable these means by selling their labour power in return for wages.[14] Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx predicted that capitalism produced internal tensions like previous socio-economic systems and that those would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system known as the socialist mode of production. For Marx, class antagonisms under capitalism, owing in part to its instability and crisis-prone nature, would eventuate the working class’ development of class consciousness, leading to their conquest of political power and eventually the establishment of a classlesscommunist societyconstituted by a free association of producers.[15] Marx actively pressed for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organised proletarian revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic emancipation.[16]

Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and his work has been both lauded and criticised.[17] His work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital and subsequent economic thought.[18][19][20] Many intellectuals, labour unions, artists and political parties worldwide have been influenced by Marx’s work, with many modifying or adapting his ideas. Marx is typically cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science.[21][22]‘ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx)

‘I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE’, inscribed on the side of the McMahon grave, is the penultimate line of William Ernest Henley’s poem, Invictus.

The legend on the gravestone of Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005) has been incised through the very stone. Caulfield ‘was a contemporary of David Hockney. Regarded as part of the Pop Art movement. and a Turner Prize nominee in 1987, [he] designed……..his own memorial.’ (https://darkestlondon.com/2011/05/04/patrick-caulfields-grave-in-highgate/)

A natural bouquet has been grown to complement this one.

Formerly of Lynn in Norfolk, Ann Jewson Crisp died aged 94 and is buried with her dog, Emperor.

This evening we dined on succulent roast lamb; crisp roast potatoes, parsnips and Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tangy red cabbage; firm Brussels sprouts; and meaty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Montaria red wine 2019.


  1. Thank you for a fascinating tour of the cemetery, Derrick. You will forgive me if I confess that I have skipped Karl Marx’ biography which we had to study at school, in college, and as a part of my graduate coursework.

  2. You have famous personalities in that cemetery. We studied the philosophies of Mark when I was in college. I majored in Economics.

  3. Your cemetery photos are always wonderful! And we never know who we are going to see residing in the cemeteries! Great history accompaniment, too.
    OH! Buried with her dog! How nice!
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  4. Why is it necessary to make a visit to a cemetery or is it just this one and if so is there an entrance fee? Or is it because Karl Marx has become an item of capitalist exploitation?

  5. You have returned to the subject that has had a fare share in your photographic narratives of late. How enthralled I am to see the residues of the celebrated personas that once inhabited the earth. It is surprising how I too have been thinking of William Ernest Henley’s Invictus.

  6. Merry Christmas Sunday, Derrick… I enjoyed your tour of this cemetery – especially the one where the natural bouquet grew in front of it. How cool is that? The family doesn’t have to go and provide flowers – God’s doing it for them!!

  7. I had no idea where Marx was buried! Learned something new again. I don’t like the man. Thanks to him, instead of Europe-friendly, culture-hungry Russia we now have the products of socialism – billions of brain-washed haters of humanity, the great grandchildren of the murderers. If this doesn’t scare anyone, I don’t know what will.

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