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.
Romano Lavo-lil: Word-book of the Romany Or English Gypsy Language