Lavengro and The Romany Rye

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Kessinger Publishing, Jun 1, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 380 pages
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1851. Designed to be read as a modern novel. English writer and traveler, Borrow led a nomadic life in England and on the Continent, where he was a translator and agent for the British and Foreign Bible Society. The autobiographical Lavengro is considered his masterwork and its sequel, Romany Rye, is also considered among his best work. Like all of his other writings, these two volumes are based on his wanderings.

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About the author (2004)

Borrow was employed by the (Protestant) Bible Society to distribute bibles in Catholic Spain in 1835. He encountered much opposition and was on one occasion imprisoned for three weeks. The famous account of his experience has little to do with the Bible and much to do with the people, land, and perils of his journey. Borrow is as racy in his descriptions of places as of people. Lavengro (1851) and its sequel, The Romany Rye (1857), are like novels in their interest and excitement. They are stories of gypsies, rich in gypsy lore, superstitions, and customs. Borrow spent many years in close association with Spanish gypsies and translated the Gospel of St. Luke into their language. His linguistic abilities were remarkable; he gives much space to word derivations, particularly in Lavengro. His books abound in pugnacious passages; his attacks on Sir Walter Scott (see Vol. 1), on prizefighters, and on "papists" are indicative of some of his sharp prejudices. He wrote marvelously, however, and those who admire him are devotees for life.

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