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Robert Tressell (1870–1911)

Author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

2+ Works 1,607 Members 40 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

Robert Tressell was a pen-name - he was called Robert Croker on his birth certificate and usually known as Robert Noonan (his mother's name).

Works by Robert Tressell

Associated Works

The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction (1999) — Contributor — 152 copies

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Common Knowledge

Legal name
Croker, Robert
Other names
Noonan, Robert
Birthdate
1870-04-17
Date of death
1911-02-03
Burial location
Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK
Gender
male
Nationality
UK
Birthplace
Dublin, Ireland
Place of death
Liverpool, Merseyside, England, UK
Places of residence
Dublin, Ireland
Johannesburg, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Hastings, Sussex, England, UK
Occupations
signwriter
trade unionist (South Africa)
painter
decorator
writer
Organizations
Social Democratic Federation
Disambiguation notice
Robert Tressell was a pen-name - he was called Robert Croker on his birth certificate and usually known as Robert Noonan (his mother's name).

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Reviews

A miserable novel that bangs on about the same miserable theme for hundreds of pages. Little redeeming with this and I DNF in the end (very rare for me). Something Jeremy Corbyn would write circa 1960s.
 
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MichaelH85 | 39 other reviews | Jan 23, 2024 |
A political novel based in Edwardian England, describing the lives of several workers for a painting and decorating company. I was expecting the story to have much more humour in it than I found. Nearly every chapter began with some bleak outlook or description of misery and gloom. It made a good comparison to the improvements of the poor today; the predictions that the rich/poor divide would always remain, and questioned whether a socialist structure of government could eradicate the rich/poor divide. I was interested and amused by the conversations on science, in particular how the earth must be flat not spherical (the same arguments are still used today, more than 100 years on!). I liked the detail of methods used in mixing paints, using brushes and ladders, sanding down using pumice stones etc.… (more)
 
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AChild | 39 other reviews | May 19, 2022 |
This book was completed in 1910 but published posthumously, as the Irish author died of TB at the age of 40 a year later. It’s an unabashedly socialist novel that follows the lives of a group of English working men. They earn poverty wages and live in constant fear of being unemployed. While a lot of conditions described in the book seem as true of the working poor today as a century ago, the one striking difference is that there was no safety net whatsoever. If the men were out of work for too long, they and their families would literally starve to death, and the only alternative was going to the workhouse, which is not really described in this novel but seems to be feared as an equivalent fate to death. The most harrowing part is when one of men believes he should murder his wife and bright young son and then himself to spare them a worse fate, and is mulling over the best way to do it. That was Stephen King-level horror. There are a lot of long speeches about socialism that are meritorious but boring and I ended up skimming through them. It was mostly this one guy Owen making the speeches, but the other men dismissed him as a nut. I think this book deserves its status as a classic.… (more)
 
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jollyavis | 39 other reviews | Dec 14, 2021 |
I wanted to like this book because I'd heard so much about it, but there are only so many times one can read about men being willing to work for less, of two coats of paint being applied when there ought to be three, etc before it becomes repetitive and dreary. With 400 pages of the book read and another 200 stretching before me, I decided enough was enough.
½
 
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cappybear | 39 other reviews | Jun 25, 2021 |

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Associated Authors

Peter Miles Editor, Introduction
Alan Sillitoe Introduction
Gary Day Introduction
Neil Breedon Cover artist

Statistics

Works
2
Also by
1
Members
1,607
Popularity
#16,044
Rating
3.9
Reviews
40
ISBNs
77
Languages
3
Favorited
2

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