The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Robert Tressell

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.

Reviews of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

  • ‘The first great English novel about the class war, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is spiked, witty, humorous, instructive and full of excitement, harmony and pathos.’ Alan Sillitoe

    ‘Some books seem to batter their way to immortality against all the 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

    Robert Tressell has complete familiarity with the idiom of his characters. His language is bizarre, vital, highly inventive and precisely heard – it is a complete and living archaeology of the speech of a particular human group. A brilliant and very funny book.’ Spectator