The Gypsy is traditionally portrayed as a black-eyed, tousle-haired savage from a distant land who makes a living by deceit and parasitism on the host society. This book critically examines the nature and source of such stereotypes, locating the image of the wild but often romantic Romany in various works of fiction and the writings of lorists and gypsiologists, fascinated by the need to classify, categorize and describe. The author reveals the inadequacies of the racial construct, and replaces it with a definition that allows for the coming together and coexistence of indigenous itinerants and the original, foreign immigrants. A picture emerges of a distinctive group living on the fringes of industrialized society and economy, but necessarily involved in a close economic relationship with the settled community.
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- Date Published: March 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521103169
- length: 272 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Nomadism:
2. Itinerancy as a way of life
3. From fortune-telling to scissor-grinding
Part II. Images:
4. Romany or traveller - definitions and stereotypes
Part III. Responses:
5. Evangelism and the reforming mission
6. George Smith of Coalville and the legislative attack
7. The Gypsy versus magistrates, police and local authorities
8. Summary and conclusion.
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