Friday, 18 April 2008

Robert Tressell Day

Britain's most influential working class novel: "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists" was written by Robert Tressell in Hastings and St.Leonards 100 years ago (c.1906 - 1908) though not published in an abridged form until 1914.

"But from these ruins was surely growing the glorious fabric of the Co-operative Commonwealth. ......The Golden Light that will be diffused throughout all the happy world from the rays of the risen sun of Socialism."

There isn't a Robert Tressell day but if there was it would be today, the birthday of, real name, Robert Noonan 18th April 1871. There are some events in Liverpool happening this year, with it being capital of culture and the resting place of the ledgendary writer.

The book is in print and the TUC made it available online a few years ago. Other details of his time in Hastings the setting for Mugsborough in the book are here. Looking through it today after many years the characters of Crass, Bundy, Sawkins come out with comments you'll still hear today. No wonder the hero, called Robert Owen, is up against it.