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Smoke In The Lanes: Happiness and Hardship on the Road with the Gypsies in the 1950s

Dominic Reeve

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Biography: general, Prose: non-fiction

Smoke in the Lanes is the fascinating firsthand account of a bygone age of the Romani traveller way of life in 1950s England.

In the 1950s the Romani people lived on the brink of great change. In their bright wooden wagons they journeyed between horse-fairs and traditional stopping places - stoic, humorous and wild, often poverty-stricken but protective of their freedom - on the fringes of a society that was soon to close around them. Dominic Reeve describes his life among the Gypsies: the feuds and fairs, the joyful muddy squalor of an outdoor existence. He evokes an unforgettable cast of fireside characters - bold children, fierce matriarchs and dandyish villains in snap-brimmed hats - and tells of sharp deals done and rings run round country policemen, of love affairs, dances and open-air feasting. Smoke in the Lanes is the vivid, memorable record of a disappeared world.

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Praise for Smoke In The Lanes: Happiness and Hardship on the Road with the Gypsies in the 1950s

  • The real deal ... a fascinating, unflinching portrait of the rich diversity of characters and traditions of the Romani life at a time when it was threatened as never before' - Choice magazine

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Dominic Reeve

Dominic Reeve wrote Smoke in the Lanes, his first book, in 1958. Since then he has written four more books including Beneath the Blue Sky: Four Decades of the Gypsy Traveller Life. He lives and works in a semi-nomadic style with his partner, Beshlie, an illustrator.

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