“As the delegates prepared to leave, a specially selected ‘conspiratorial commission’ was given responsibility for seeing them on their way back covertly to Russia via Finland. Lenin stayed on in London for a few days, working at his lodgings with the congress’s one and only stenographer, ensuring that an accurate written record of the sessions – and particularly of his own numerous speeches – was produced. He also found time to do some reading at the British Library, in between attending a second congress held by the Latvian Social Democrat contingent in the East End. Then he headed back to Nadya in Finland and the safe house at Kuokkala. Much to her amusement, he arrived sporting a large white straw hat, having clipped his moustache and shaved off his beard in order to evade identification and arrest (57). During his time in London, the British press had paid no particular attention to Lenin, all reports of the congress emphasising the presence of Gorky, as well as that of Plekhanov, Trotsky and Kropotkin. Gorky was the person whom the Western press had wanted to know more about, viewing him as the hero of the Russian working classes and ‘the prophet of revolution’. ‘What Gorki [sic] thinks to-day Russia will do tomorrow’, declared the ‘Daily Mirror’, adding, ‘History is now being made in London’ (58). That much indeed was true, only back in Russia they saw things somewhat differently. Lenin may have successfully maintained a low profile in Britain, but in Russia, where his police file stretched back to the 1880s, he was now public enemy no. I. A warrant had been issued for the arrest of ‘Vladimir Ulyanov, alias Lenin’, a ‘writer on economic subjects’, now regarded as ‘the most dangerous and most capable of all the Revolutionary leaders” (59). And also the most elusive; for while the story was being syndicated across the world’s newspapers Lenin once more disappeared from sight. The Russia Secret Police were now searching for him all over southern Finland” [Helen Rappaport, Conspirator. Lenin in exile, 2009] [(57) Krupskaia (Krupskaya), Memories, p. 143; (58) ‘Maxim Gorki at Secret Duma’, Daily Mirror, 15 May 1907; (59) ‘New York Times, 21 May 1907] [Lenin-Bibliographical-Materials] [LBM*]

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