Rosa Luxemburg; Her Life, Thought and Legacy’ BRLSI, Bath, 4 May 2012

Graduate Centre blocks thin

On Friday 4 May 2012, Swansea PhD student Rory Castle joined Professor Jacqueline Rose (Queen Mary, University of London) and Marie- Louise Luxemburg in conversation about the latter’s great aunt, Rosa Luxemburg.

The event was hosted by the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute and attracted a large audience, who were keen to interact with the speakers.

The evening opened with a talk by Ms Luxemburg about her great-aunt’s life.  Ms Luxemburg provided a vivid portrait of life in late-nineteenth century Poland, before outlining Rosa Luxemburg’s achievements in the Polish, German and international socialist movements.

The impact of Rosa’s political activities on the Luxemburg family were also explored, many of whom had travelled to Bath for the event from as far away as Vilnius, Lithuania.

Following the introduction, Rory Castle and Professor Jacqueline Rose hosted a discussion around three main themes; Luxemburg’s ideas about the relationship between socialism and democracy, her writings on Revolution and her legacy in the twenty-first century.

Rory Castle The floor was then opened up for questions and these came in abundance, on subjects including Rosa’s legacy in East Germany, her relationship with Lenin and the escape from justice of her murderers. There were so many questions that the evening was extended to accommodate as many as possible and it was an opportunity to engage with a wider public on the life and ideas of one of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers.

Jacqueline Rose is Professor of English at Queen Mary, University of London. She recently reviewed The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg in the London Review of Books and is currently researching for a book on several prominent women of the twentieth century, including Rosa Luxemburg.

Rory Castle is researching his PhD on Rosa Luxemburg and German socialism in the Department of History and Classics at Swansea University. His blog about Rosa Luxemburg is at

Marie-Louise Luxemburg is a director of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. She is also the great niece of Rosa Luxemburg.