The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists.

NOONAN Robert.; as Robert TRESSALL (1914.)

£2000.00  [First Edition]

Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

“The first great English novel about the class war” (Allan Sillitoe).

First edition. 8vo., original black cloth, spine and upper board in gilt. London, Grant Richards Ltd.

A classic of English working class fiction, later described by Allan Sillitoe as "The first great English novel about the class war". The only published book by Dublin-born Robert Philippe Noonan (1870-1911) who, having been a prosperous painter and decorator in South Africa, returned to Britain, to Hastings, where "Working in the building trade at subsistence wages, he contracted tuberculosis, was influenced by socialist writers such as Robert Blatchford, and became an active member of the unusually large Hastings branch of the Social Democratic Federation, whose banner he painted. He spent his spare time during the last ten years of his life writing by hand the 1800-page manuscript of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, which brought posthumous fame" (ODNB). He was unable to find a publisher during his lifetime, and his daughter sold the copyright to Grant Richards for a flat £25.

The title was bowdlerised from The Ragged Arsed Philanthropists, and oddly, although the manuscript was clearly signed 'Tressell', which was how Noonan wrote the word for a painter’s trestle in his manuscript, the author’s name was printed as 'Tressall' in this first edition and in the Grant Richards abridged cheap edition of 1918.

Front free endpapers slightly tanned, otherwise an unusually excellent copy.

Stock Code: 230724

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