The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Robert Tressell and originally published in 1914. It is an overtly political work and is considered a classic of working-class literature. It was written by the author in his spare time and published after his death in 1911.
The novel tells of the great difficulty of finding work for a house painter in the fictional town of Mugsborough, based on the English seaside town of Hastings. It is based on the author's own experiences and the people around him.
The protagonist of the story is Frank Owen, a socialist who tries to convince his co-workers that capitalism is generating poverty around him. His classmates refuse to accept Owen's theses and the inequality of society, which causes him great frustration. Most of the book is conversations between Owen and the others, with numerous taunts from the companions towards Owen.
The title of the book refers to the fact that the workers are a kind of "philanthropists" who exchange their work for miserable wages to make their bosses very rich.
Old Joe Philpot had been working in this room all day, washing off the old whitewash from the ceiling and removing the old papers from the walls with a broad bladed, square topped knife called a stripper. Although it was only a small room, Joe had had to tear into the work pretty hard all the time, for the ceiling seemed to have had two or three coats of whitewash without ever having been washed off, and there were several thicknesses of paper on the walls. The difficulty of removing these papers was increased by the fact that there was a dado which had been varnished.
21 hours 1 minutes (252273 words)
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Date added: 26-04-2022
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