Originally published in 1914, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a timeless story of socialism, political awakenings and class struggle, told with a volatile mix of heartfelt rage and sly humour.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. 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, this is one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written.
This enduring favourite is now reinvigorated by a smart new jacket and exclusive extra material as part of Harper Perennial's Modern Classics line of reissues. Now its timeless message of justice, equality and reason will be introduced to a whole new generation of discerning readers.
Robert Tressell was the pseudonym of Robert Noonan, an Irish housepainter, who came to England from South Africa at the turn of the century. After working as a signwriter and becoming involved in local politics in Adelaide, Tressell wrote The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, his only novel. After the manuscript was rejected by several publishers, Tressell decided to move to Canada, yet died of TB en route in 1911. The book was published three years later.