We’re adapting The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell for graphic novel, and it will be published by SelfMadeHero in Autumn 2020.
We hope to bring this influential working class classic to another generation of newly enlightened socialists with a sensitive and faithful adaptation. In this graphic format the story is an accessible, entertaining and rewarding read, whilst retaining the bitterness, anger and compassion of Tressell’s original.
Familiar to millions, the scathing analysis of class relations and the impact of poverty on family life before the Great War includes themes of creeping privatisation, insecure employment and the demonisation of poverty that have direct relevance to our modern lives. The philanthropists of the title are the workers who willingly give their labour only to enrich their employers. Our hero Owen tries to enlighten his friends, who refuse to recognise their oppression.
We are sisters who work together to produce graphic novels. Sophie writes (and in this case, adapts) and Scarlett draws. Previous work includes the critically acclaimed Mann’s Best Friend with Gluepot Books. The historical sensitivity, humour and warmth of Scarlett’s art brings this story to life, as readers grow fond of Owen and his colourful colleagues navigating their precarious lives.
SelfMadeHero is the UK’s leading independent publisher of graphic novels, producing ground-breaking and beautiful books from around the globe, with a strong reputation for nurturing new talent and high production values. We are very much looking forward to working with them to produce the best book this can be. They have introduced us to a wonderful editor in David Hine, who has encouraged, indulged and improved us no end already.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is the original socialist novel. George Orwell said it was “a book that everyone should read”, and now they can – with each picture telling a thousand words. You can keep up to date with progress on our production blog, on Twitter, and on Instagram.