Wordsworth Classics – 620 pages
With an introduction and Notes by Lionel Kelly and a Foreword by Tony Benn.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a classic representation of the impoverished and politically powerless underclass of British society in Edwardian England, ruthlessly exploited by the institutionalized corruption of their employers and the civic and religious authorities.
Epic in scale, the novel charts the ruinous effects of the laissez-faire mercantilist ethics of the men, women, and children of the working classes, and through its emblematic characters, argues for a socialist politics as the only hope for a civilized and humane life for all. It is a timeless work whose political message is as relevant today as it was in Tressell‘s time. For it has long been honored by the Trade Union movement and thinkers across the political spectrum.