Robert Tressell - The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tea towel

100% Organic Cotton
Made in the UK
(No reviews yet) Write a Review
Adding to basket… The item has been added
  • Sturdy half panama unbleached US cotton (48cm x 70cm)
  • Our special inks mean that colours last in the wash
  • Includes hanging loop
  • Designed and manufactured in the UK
  • Delivery with Royal Mail, free on orders over £35
  • 100-day money back guarantee if you change your mind

'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' is a semi-autobiographical novel by Irish house painter and sign writer Robert Noonan, who wrote the book in his spare time under the pen name Robert Tressell. It is considered to be the first important working-class novel in English literature.

Published in 1914 after Tressell's death from tuberculosis in 1911, the novel follows a socialist house painter, Frank Owen's efforts to find work in the fictional English town of Mugsborough (based on the coastal town of Hastings) to stave off the workhouse for himself, his wife and his son.

Owen gives lectures to his fellow workers about poverty, socialism and capitalism, the most memorable one being where he explains that “Money is the real cause of poverty”. To prove this, he shows them “how the Great Money Trick is worked”. 

The original title page of the 1914 version carried the subtitle: "Being the story of twelve months in Hell, told by one of the damned, and written down by Robert Tressell."

Tressell states in the preface, “There are no scenes or incidents in the story that I have not either witnessed myself or had conclusive evidence of.”

The initial 1914 version was heavily edited and abridged and was reprinted often, with the full version only finally published in 1955.

Half Panama unbleached organic cotton (heavy weight, textured finish). Stitched on all four sides. Includes hanging loop. Measures approximately 48cm x 70cm. Machine wash at 40 degrees centigrade max. We recommend that before you use your tea towel for the first time you wash it at least once to soften up the material and make it more absorbent for drying dishes. Please note size can vary slightly.