The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

Robert TRESSELL (1870 - 1911)

Clearly frustrated at the refusal of his contemporaries to recognise the iniquity of society, Tressell's cast of hypocritical Christians, exploitative capitalists and corrupt councillors provide a backdrop for his main target — the workers who think that a better life is "not for the likes of them". Hence the title of the book; Tressell paints the workers as "philanthropists" who throw themselves into back-breaking work for poverty wages in order to generate profit for their masters.

The hero of the book, Frank Owen, is a socialist who believes that the capitalist system is the real source of the poverty he sees all around him. In vain he tries to convince his fellow workers of his world view, but finds that their education has trained them to distrust their own thoughts and to rely on those of their "betters". Much of the book consists of conversations between Owen and the others, or more often of lectures by Owen in the face of their jeering; this was presumably based on Tressell's own experiences.(Summary by Tadhg)

Genre(s): Culture & Heritage, General Fiction

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Preface Tadhg
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Play 01 Chapter 1, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 02 Chapter 1, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 03 Chapter 2, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 04 Chapter 2, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 05 Chapter 3, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 06 Chapter 3, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 07 Chapter 4 Tadhg
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Play 08 Chapter 5 Tadhg
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Play 09 Chapter 6, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 10 Chapter 6, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 11 Chapter 7 Tadhg
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Play 12 Chapter 8 Tadhg
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Play 13 Chapter 9 Tadhg
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Play 14 Chapter 10 Tadhg
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Play 15 Chapter 11 Tadhg
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Play 16 Chapter 12 Tadhg
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Play 17 Chapter 13 Tadhg
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Play 18 Chapter 14 Tadhg
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Play 19 Chapter 15, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 20 Chapter 15, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 21 Chapter 16 Tadhg
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Play 22 Chapter 17 Tadhg
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Play 23 Chapter 18 Tadhg
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Play 24 Chapter 19 Tadhg
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Play 25 Chapter 20 Tadhg
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Play 26 Chapter 21 Tadhg
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Play 27 Chapter 22 Tadhg
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Play 28 Chapter 23 Tadhg
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Play 29 Chapter 24 Tadhg
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Play 30 Chapter 25, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 31 Chapter 25, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 32 Chapter 25, Part 3 Tadhg
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Play 33 Chapter 26 Tadhg
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Play 34 Chapter 27 Tadhg
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Play 35 Chapter 28 Tadhg
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Play 36 Chapter 29 Tadhg
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Play 37 Chapter 30 Tadhg
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Play 38 Chapter 31 Tadhg
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Play 39 Chapter 32 Tadhg
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Play 40 Chapter 33 Tadhg
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Play 41 Chapter 34 Tadhg
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Play 42 Chapter 35 Tadhg
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Play 43 Chapter 36 Tadhg
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Play 44 Chapter 37 Tadhg
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Play 45 Chapter 38 Tadhg
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Play 46 Chapter 39 Tadhg
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Play 47 Chapter 40 Tadhg
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Play 48 Chapter 41 Tadhg
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Play 49 Chapter 42 Tadhg
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Play 50 Chapter 43, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 51 Chapter 43, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 52 Chapter 43, Part 3 Tadhg
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Play 53 Chapter 44, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 54 Chapter 44, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 55 Chapter 45, Part 1 Tadhg
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Play 56 Chapter 45, Part 2 Tadhg
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Play 57 Chapter 45, Part 3 Tadhg
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Play 58 Chapter 45, Part 4 Tadhg
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Play 59 Chapter 46 Tadhg
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Play 60 Chapter 47 Tadhg
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Play 61 Chapter 48 Tadhg
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Play 62 Chapter 49 Tadhg
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Play 63 Chapter 50 Tadhg
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Play 64 Chapter 51 Tadhg
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Play 65 Chapter 52 Tadhg
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Play 66 Chapter 53 Tadhg
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Play 67 Chapter 54 Tadhg
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Play 68 Appendix Tadhg
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