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bundoran | 12:28 Sun 04th Mar 2012 | Arts & Literature
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could anyone describe briefly who were the "ragged trousered philanthropists"

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painters and house builders
Workers who were constantly exploited by the bourgeois company owners, to the extent that the workers and their families paid with their under-paid labour for the luxury lifestyles of the company owners by their own increasing poverty.
They were painters and decorators who worked for such companies as Smeariton and Leavitt, and Grabbit and Snatchem. I love this book but havent read it in years. The central character is Frank Owen who despairs of ever bettering himself. A must read for all aspiring lefties

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