“Reports about the progress of the work on Marx’s literary legacy provide one of the most constant leitmotifs in the correspondence between Engels and Kautsky, as well as other co-thinkers. In a letter to Kautsky’s mother (1885) – a rather well-known writer of popular novels at the time – Engels expresses his hope that old Europe will finally swing into motion again, and he adds, “I only hope that sufficient time will be left for me to conclude the third volume of ‘Capital’, and then, let her rip!” (p. 206). From this semijocular statement one may clearly gather the importance he attached to ‘Capital’; but there is also something else to be gathered, namely, that revolutionary action stood for him above any book, even ‘Capital’. On December 3, 1891, i.e., six years later, Engels explains to Kautsky the reasons for his protracted silence: “… responsible for it  is the third volume, over which I am sweating again”. He is busy not only deciphering the chapters in the murderous manuscript on money capital, banks, and credit, but he is also studying at the same time literature on the respective subjects. To be sure, he knows in advance that in the majority of cases he can leave the manuscript just as it came from the pen of Marx, but he wants to secure himself against editorial errors by his auxiliary researches. Added to all this there is the bottomless pit of minute technical details! Engels carries on a correspondence on whether or not a comma is needed in such and such a place, and he especially thanks Kautsky for uncovering an error in spelling in the manuscript. This is not pedantry – but conscientiousness to which nothing is unimportant that bears upon the scientific sum total of Marx’s life. Engels, however, was furthest removed from any blind adulation of the text. Checking over a digest of Marx’s economic theory written by the French socialist Deville, Engels, according to his own words, often felt the temptation to delete or correct sentences here and there, which on further examination turned out to be… Marx’s own expressions. The gist of the matter is that “in the original, thanks to what had preceded, they were clearly qualified. But in Deville’s case, they were invested with an absolutely generalized, and by reason of this, incorrect meaning” (p. 95). These few words provide a classic characterization of the common abuse of the ready-made formulas of the master (‘magister dixit’). But this is not all. Engels not only deciphered, polished, transcribed, corrected, and annotated the second and third volumes of Capital but he maintained an eagle-eyed vigil in defense of Marx’s memory against hostile attacks” [Leon Trotsky, Friedrich Engels] [in Leon Trotsky, Portraits. Political & Personal, 1977] [‘The 1935 volume collecting Engels’s letters to Kautsky, which Trotsky reviews here, has not yet published in English. Trotsky’s article, dated October 15, 1935, was written in Norway. The translation by John G. Wright was first published under the title ‘Engels’s Letters to Kautsky”, in The New International, June 1936’, nota ed.]