The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, first published in 1914, is a highly celebrated and surprisingly modern novel that since first publication has won many followers. Rooted in socialist ideals, it was voted amongst the nation's top 100 books in the BBC Big Read. It tells the story of a group of decorators who cope reasonably with their impoverished life until one of them, Frank Owen, hands out regular attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalists who themselves "do nothing". But Owen's words fall on deaf ears as the working men believe that there is nothing they can do about their lot. That is until the 'posher' Barrington takes up the cudgels with Owen as they fight for a fairer Britain.