The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

by Robert Tressell


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Tressell’s great working-class novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789353429041
Publisher: Astral International Pvt. Ltd.
Publication date: 07/08/2019
Pages: 514
Sales rank: 847,639
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 1.15(d)

About the Author

Irish writer Robert Tressell (1870-1911) was a house painter and the illegitimate son of a retired magistrate. He was born Robert Noonan in Dublin in 1870 and moved to England in 1901. He worked briefly in South Africa and began writing under the pen name Tressell.
His work is believed to have been largely based on his experiences of poverty, exploitation, and the fear that his daughter Kathleen would be consigned to the workhouse if he became ill.
The novel is set in the fictional town of Mugsborough, based on the southern English coastal town of Hastings, and the original title page of the book carried the subtitle: "Being the story of twelve months in Hell, told by one of the damned, and written down by Robert Tressell."
The book was completed in 1910, but no one had published it before the author's death in 1911. His daughter, determined to have her father's writing published, showed it to a friend, writer Jessie Pope. Pope's publisher bought the rights in April 1914.

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The ragged trousered philanthropists 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was written nearly a hundred years ago, but it doesn't have the sort of overly-descriptive wordy feel of other books from that era. Tressell has a straightforward, almost childlike style, and accordingly the story is very accessible and easy to read.I would never consider myself a socialist (I have no left-leanings whatsoever!) so this book's great triumph is that it almost turned me red! The case that is made for socialism is compelling, you cannot but feel sympathy for the characters who are so badly treated by their employers, this maltreatment seemingly a direct result of the economic system in which they exist. In the 21st century, as we look back on, say, Eastern European history, we can see the flaws in the argument, yet when the activist arrived with his socialist propaganda I found myself mentally urging him on. My main criticism of the book is its repetitiveness (how many times do we need to hear how a decorating job was bodged, paint 'slobbered' on the wall etc etc?) and lax editing. This said, the author surprised me right at the end with a scene so touching and yet delivered with such incredible simplicity that the tears were fairly rolling down my cheeks.I'm still in favour of the free market, but I'm very glad to have read this book.
Pyobon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rather a polemic, but very readable, mainly for it's social history, but also for the clarity of its explanation of the roots of poverty
miketroll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel is an icon of socialist literature, revealing the essence of the leftist mind set: pious, didactic, simplistic, smug.Tressell is especially fond of attacking the profit motive. This is absurd: who in this world engages in work with the intention of making a loss?
missjones on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The novel is an account of a year in the life of a group of housepainters in Hastings in the years before the First World War.The central character of the book is a housepainter named Owen who tries to rouse his workmates from their political apathy to embrace Socialism as the solution to their impoverished and precarious existence.Even if you don¿t agree with the Socialist theory espoused in the book you are quickly drawn in by Tressell¿s superb characterization and acute ear for dialogue. Anyone who has ever worked will recognize the characters and situations which are depicted so masterfully. Before I read the book I would never have thought that my working life would have anything in common with that of an Edwardian tradesman but the situations Tressell depicts are universal.An excellent book which I couldn¿t recommend highly enough.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book helps to remove the hypnotic mask of capitalism's social acceptance. This is achieved through a enjoyable and accessable style of writing that has the power to both pen hope and slam the door of harsh reality in the face of it. Enduring to the last.