In 1842, the 22-year-old Engels was sent by his parents to Manchester, Britain, to work for the Ermen and Engels' Victoria Mill in Weaste which made sewing threads.
Engels' father thought that working at the Manchester firm might make Engels reconsider the opinions he had developed at the time.
On his way to Manchester, Engels visited the office of the Rheinische Zeitung and met Karl Marx for the first time - they were not impressed by each other.
Marx mistakenly thought that Engels was still associated with the Berliner Young Hegelians, with whom he (Marx) had just broken.
In Manchester Engels met Mary Burns, a fierce young working woman with radical opinions with whom he began a relationship that lasted until her death in 1862
The two never married, as both were against the institution of marriage.
While Engels regarded monogamy as a virtue, state and church regulated marriage were to him a form of class oppression.
Burns guided Engels through Manchester and Salford, showing him the worst districts for his research.
While in Manchester, Engels wrote his first economic work.
The article was called "Outline of a Critique of Political Economy" and was written between October and November 1843.
Engels sent the article to Paris, where Marx published it in the Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher.
Engels also wrote a three part series of articles called "The Condition of England" in January, February and March 1844.
While observing the slums of Manchester in close detail, Engels took notes of the horrors he observed, notably child labor, the despoiled environment and overworked and impoverished laborers and sent back a series of articles to Marx, first for publication in the Rheinische Zeitung and then for publication in Deutsch–Franzosische Jahrbucher, chronicling the conditions amongst the working class in Manchester.
These he would later collect and publish in his influential first book, The Condition of the Working Class in England.
The book was written between September 1844 and March 1845 and was printed in German in 1845.
In the book, Engels gave way to his views on the "grim future of capitalism and the industrial age", and described in detail, street after street, the total squalor in which the working people were living.
The book was published in English in 1887.
While writing it, Engels continued his involvement with radical journalism and politics.
He frequented some areas also frequented by some members of the English labour and Chartist movements, whom he met, and wrote for several journals, including The Northern Star, Robert Owen’s New Moral World and the Democratic Review newspaper.