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Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, The : Penguin Modern Classics - Robert Tressell

Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, The

Penguin Modern Classics

Paperback Published: 5th August 2004
ISBN: 9780141187693
Number Of Pages: 784

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A sustained attack on selfish capitalism, and a Socialist critique of Edwardian England's social inequality, Robert Tressell's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists includes an introduction by Tristram Hunt in Penguin Modern Classics. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Frank Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Indicting the 'philanthropy' of the working class, who toil solely for the benefit of their masters, and initiating them into the secrets of the 'Great Money Trick' which alienates them from their labour, Owen's spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his fellow men from their political quietism. A masterpiece of wit and political passion and one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written. Robert Noonan (1870-1911) who took the pseudonym 'Tressell' from the 'trestle table' of the sort used by decorators, was an Irish housepainter who came to England from South Africa in 1900. He settled in Hastings, where he worked as a signwriter for various building firms. Tressell never lived to see his book in print; he died of tuberculosis in 1911, aged forty. If you enjoyed The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, you might also like Jaroslav Haek's The Good Soldier vejk, available in Penguin Classics. 'Some books seem to batter their way to immortality against all odds, by sheer brute artistic strength, and high up in this curious and honourable company must be counted The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Robert Tressell's unfailing humour mixes with an unfailing rage and the two together make a truly Swiftian impact' Evening Standard 'A brilliant and very funny book' Spectator '[It] has always seemed to me a wonderful book' George Orwell, author of Animal Farm 'The first great English novel about the class war ... witty, humourous, instinctive and full of excitement, harmony and pathos' Alan Sillitoe

This is a must read


This book was written over a hundred years ago about encompassing politics and working life, sadly it is as relevant today as it was then. The parallels are incredible.

Newcastle, Au


Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, The

5.0 1


ISBN: 9780141187693
ISBN-10: 0141187697
Series: Penguin Modern Classics
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 784
Published: 5th August 2004
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 12.8  x 3.5
Weight (kg): 0.55
Edition Number: 1