• Robert Tressell - A Life in Hell -  Ian Hernon

Over the last century the novel 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' has been credited with having more influence on the growth of the labour and trade union movement than Marx and Engels. Yet for a long time little was known about the author, a house-painter called ‘Robert Tressell.’ Ian Hernon has traced his life from Victorian Ireland and South Africa to Edwardian Hastings and, ultimately, Liverpool. It is the story of how arguably the greatest novel about the English working class sprang to life from Tressell’s bitter experience and first-hand observations. It is also the personal story of a workmate and single parent who was much-loved in life and venerated after his premature death before his masterpiece was published. That masterpiece has particular resonance in today’s political climate of austerity and division. With a preface by Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union. Ian Hernon has been a journalist since 1969 and a lobby correspondent in the House of Commons since 1978. He is deputy editor of Tribune. His nine previously-published history books include ‘Riot! – Civil Insurrection from Peterloo to the Present Day’, ‘The Blair Decade’, and ‘Fortress Britain – All the Invasions and Incursions Since 1066’. “Hernon is an admirable narrative historian.” – Mail on Sunday “Hernon writes sparingly and well. He is a political journalist of distinction.” – Daily Express “One of the great qualities of Hernon’s accounts is the pervasive humanity with which he describes the sufferings of those involved.” – The late Robert Rhodes James “…intelligence and clarity.” – Times Literary Supplement.

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Robert Tressell - A Life in Hell - Ian Hernon

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