November 19, 2011

Book Review: The Zincali

While I've always been very interested by travel in general it wasn't until I became mobile that I became interested in travelers themselves. Maybe it's a sense of belonging, maybe I'm just trying to justify my own behavior by pointing at others who have done the same. Whatever the answer I've been reading a lot about gypsies over the past few months. I stumbled on this book simply because it was free on my Kindle (Click here to download it) but I was surprised by it's content.

The Zincali: An account of the gypsies of Spain was first published in 1908 by George Borrow. Borrow was a kind of wondering bible pusher who traveled the world spreading the gospel and seems to have had a great respect for the gypsy lifestyle. He goes into all kinds of detail about customs, origins, and language. There are stories about gypsies from countries he passed through and some really interesting comparisons of gypsies from different areas (ie: England vs. Hungary vs. Russia, etc). He also shares some inside knowledge about gypsy signs and habits. It was a great read which I highly recommend if you have an interest in the Romany/Travelers/Gypsies that share our inability to stay put.


  1. How long is the book ? I don`t do well on long reading books. I might have a little ADD ??? LOL

  2. Thanks for the review! I just downloaded it. Searching through all of the free books is pretty time consuming. I found a couple that you might enjoy - Letters of a Woman Homesteader and
    Letters on an Elk Hunt. The books are a collection of letters by a woman who was homesteading in Wyoming in the early 1900s, written to her friend in Denver.

  3. Wolf, The book is fairly long but cut up into sections so you can pick and choose which to read. You may notice at the bottom of this page that I normally have at least three (sometimes five) books going at once. From one ADD reader to another: I feel you pain:)

    Karen and Tony, I've downloaded them and can't wait to start! Thanks for the tip; like you said, the free book section is a lot of sort through


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