The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Robert Tressell

"He had never expected or wished to be allowed to
enjoy such things; he had always been of opinion
that they were never intended for the likes of him.
He called himself a Conservative and was very patriotic"

With an Introduction and Notes by Lionel Kelly, University of Reading.

With a Foreword by Tony Benn.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a classic representation of the impoverished and politically powerless underclass of British society in Edwardian England, ruthlessly exploited by the institutionalized corruption of their employers and the civic and religious authorities.

Epic in scale, the novel charts the ruinous effects of the laissez-faire mercantilist ethics on the men, women, and children of the working classes, and through its emblematic characters, argues for a socialist politics as the only hope for a civilized and humane life for all. It is a timeless work whose political message is as relevant today as it was in Tressell's time. For this it has long been honoured by the Trade Union movement and thinkers across the political spectrum.

The original manuscript can be viewed here (external site)

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ISBN: 9781840226829
DIGITAL ISBN: 9781848705456
PRICE: £2.50
PAGES: 624