, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 211–223 | Cite as

Politics, poetics and the popular text:The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

  • Wim Neetens


Prose Trade Union Movement Popular Fiction Popular Text Emotional Relief 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    A version of this paper has appeared inLiterature and History 14, No. 1 (Spring 1988).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Terry Eagleton,Walter Benjamin, Or Towards a Revolutionary Criticism (London: Verso, 1981), p. 130.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sue Townsend,The Secret Diary, of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 (London: Methuen, 1983), p. 86.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brian Mayne, “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists: An appraisal of an Edwardian Novel of Social Protest”,Twentieth Century Literature 13, No 2 (Juli 1967), p. 73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Raymond Williams, “The Ragged Arsed Philanthropists”, inWriting in Society (London: Verso, 1984), pp. 239–256.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    F. C. Ball,One of the Damned: The Life and Times of Robert Tressell, Author of “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” (London: Lawrence & Wishart 1951, rev. ed. 1973).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. B. Mitchell,Robert Tressell “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1969).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Peter Miles, “The Painter's Bible and the British Workman: Robert Tressell's Literary Activism”, in Jeremy Hawthorn, ed.,The British Working-Class Novel in the Twentieth Century (London: Edward Arnold, 1984), p. 1.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Alain Sillitoe, “Introduction”, in Robert Tressell,The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (London: Granada, 1965), p. 7.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Peter Miles, art. cit., “, p. 2.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Peter Miles gives a complete bibliography in Jeremy Hawthron, op. cit.“, p. xii.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Christopher Pawling, ed.,Popular Fiction and Social Change, (London: Macmillan, 1984), p. 2.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    E. M. Forster,Howards End (Harmondsworth: Panguin Books, 1983), p. 58.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Walter Benjamin, “The Author as Producer”,Understanding Brecht, transl. Anna Bostock, intr. Stanley Mitchell, (London: New Left Books, 1977), p. 95.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    P. J. Keating,The Working Classes in Victorian Fiction (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    See E. Hobsbawn,Industry and Empire (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1969 =The Pelican History of Britain, Vol. 3), p. 160.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    George Gissing,Demos: A Story of English Socialism (London: Eveleigh Nash & Grayson, 1928), p. 26.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Edward Said,Orientalism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978), p. 32.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    I have discussed this point in greater detail in “‘The Thin Crust of Refinement’: Culture, Socialism, Naturalism”,Textual Practice 1, No. 2 (Spring 1987).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    I am consciously writing “he” here. The representation of workingclass women as they are inscribed inThe Philanthropists' revolutionary programme is a chapter that requires (and deserves) separate study, along with the novel's most prominent silences on sexuality. Jeffrey Weeks's brief discussion of working-class “respectability” could offer one way into this sort of investigation; cf. hisSex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality Since 1800 (London: Longman, 1981); especially Chapter Four, “Sexuality and the Labrouring Classes”.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Cf. Raymond Williams, “Region and Class in the Novel”, inWriting in Society (London: Verso, 1984), pp. 233–234.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Quoted in Ball, op. cit. Raymond Williams, “Region and Class in the Novel”, inWriting in Society (London: Verso, 1984) p. 174.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Adrienne Rich, “The Burning of Paper Instead of Children”, inThe Will to Change: Poems (New York: Norton & Co., 1971), p. 16.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    M. M. Bakhtin, “Discourse in the Novel”, inThe Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, ed. Michael Holquist, transl. Caryl Emerson & Michael Holquist (Austin: Texas U. P., 1981), p. 272.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Cf.All Sorts and Conditions of Men (1884),Children of Gibeon (1885). For an enlightening discussion of Besant's work in relation to its cultural and social context, see John Goode, “The Art of Fiction: Walter Besant and Henry James”, inTradition and Tolerance in Nineteenth-Century Fiction, ed. David Howard, John Lucas and John Goode (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1966), pp. 243–288.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wim Neetens

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations