HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914)

by Robert Tressell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,4604010,363 (3.97)1 / 109
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is the classic working-class novel. It was written in 1906 by an impoverished house painter, Robert Tressell, and within its framework contains a manifesto for socialism. It tells of the appalling working conditions of a group of painters and decorators and their struggle to survive at the most basic level. It is moving, grimly humorous and tragic. It has sold over 6 million copies worldwide since it was published, and has the power to change lives.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

» See also 109 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  AChild | 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. ( )
  jollyavis | 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. ( )
  cappybear | Jun 25, 2021 |
powerful propaganda, but a failure as literature. ( )
  SamanthaD-KR | Jun 10, 2021 |
It’s okay.
A bit dull and really belabours the point.

Mary Barton did it much better:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54620 ( )
  mjhunt | Jan 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tressell, Robertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Breedon, NeilCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Day, GaryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miles, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miles, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sillitoe, AlanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The house was named 'The Cave'.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is the classic working-class novel. It was written in 1906 by an impoverished house painter, Robert Tressell, and within its framework contains a manifesto for socialism. It tells of the appalling working conditions of a group of painters and decorators and their struggle to survive at the most basic level. It is moving, grimly humorous and tragic. It has sold over 6 million copies worldwide since it was published, and has the power to change lives.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
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 and one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written.
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.97)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5 2
2 8
2.5 1
3 41
3.5 19
4 74
4.5 12
5 70

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 173,834,551 books! | Top bar: Always visible