Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Robert Tressell - A Life in Hell by Ian Hernon The biography of the author of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

The biography of the author of the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists 

Preface by Len McCluskey and supported by Unite


ISBN: 978-0-9932183-2-3

Ian Hernon has done a great job in uncovering the bitter first-hand experiences and observations that led house-painter Robert Tressell to write the labour movement classic novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (RTP), which Len McCluskey describes as "one of the great books everyone should read if they want to know about the world of work." Over a million copies of RTP have been sold. 

Hernon, who is deputy editor of Tribune and author of nine previously published history books, has traced the life of Tressell,  born in 1870 as Robert Croker, from the turmoil of late Victorian Ireland and South Africa to Edwardian Hastings and, finally, Liverpool where he died in 1911. 

In the 1930s biographer Fred Ball interviewed many of Tressell's workmates, many of whom recognised themselves in RTP. Now, Hernon has skilfully combined their thoughts alongside his painstaking decades long research, which has uncovered many previously undiscovered firm facts about Tressell's life, to tell 'a straightforward story of a remarkable man' who always insisted that every incident in RTP happened before his very eyes.

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