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Robert Barltrop

Book Review: 'Robert Tressell and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists'

High on Tressell

'Robert Tressell and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists', by Jack Mitchell (Lawrence & Wishart, 45s.)

Book Review: 'Housing - An Anarchist Approach'

'Housing: An Anarchist Approach', by Colin Ward. (Freedom Press, £1.25)

This is a collection of articles by the former editor of Anarchy, published between 1945 and 1957: some in anarchist journals, others in architects’ and planning publications. They are informative, and the book can be read as a survey of the housing situation in Britain over the past thirty years. None of the problems has dated, of course. Like the motif of Cathy Come Home, which last month was repeated on television ten years after its original showing, they are still crying out as hopelessly as ever.

The Decline of the Music Hall

In his boyhood, this writer went often to the Palace. No royal residence this; it was in the High Street, and men sold hot potatoes and chestnuts outside. Inside, it was all plush and pilasters. cherubs and chandeliers, with three gold-painted balconies receding one above another into the incredibly high domed roof. The higher you went the cheaper it was, from two shillings in the front stalls to fourpence in the gallery, where the seats were wooden steps and the tickets metal discs. There, his young blood chilled at "Sweeney Todd"; heard and saw Harry Champion, Kate Carney and Vesta Victoria, and joined in choruses which now are almost folk-songs—“Any Old Iron," “Waiting at the Church.” and “Nellie Dean."

Book Review: 'The Iron Heel'

A Future With No Future

'The Iron Heel', by Jack London. (Journeyman Press; paperback 75p., hardback £2.50)

This is the first of a series of reissues of working-class and radical "classics". The Iron Heel was last published in Britain in 1947 and — apart from more sumptuous American editions — is generally available only in second-hand copies from the old Mills & Boon shilling edition of all Jack London's works. A new French edition (Le Talon de Fer) appeared in 1972.

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