|Herzen and Bakunin as drawn by Dorfmeister for Velonotte 2013|
Since the 19th Century London was the place for radical exiles - home to Karl Marx and two of the greatest Russian social reform activists of the time. Alexander Herzen and Mikhail Bakunin were great friends, even if they didn't share a common political platform, with Bakunin being a man of action and Herzen a wordsmith and a conversationalist of the highest order. Our picture dramatizes the meeting of great minds after Bakunin escaped Siberia and arrived to London via California. The pic is based on an anecdote told by Herzen to Goncourt brothers; other versions are not favourable to Herzen: a Bakunin biographer writes that the anarchist was appaled that his Russian friends consume oysters instead of working to ensure the coming of the revolution.
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