TV programmes like My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, books like Gypsy Boy and the recent disturbances at Dale Farm have created enormous interest in the history and lifestyle of gypsies. Scottish gypsies, known as travellers, have wandered Scotlands roads and byways for centuries, and their turbulent history is captured in this passionate new book by Jess Smith, the bestselling author of Jessies Journey. This is less a conventional history than a personal pilgrimage through the stories, songs and culture of a people for whom freedom is more important than security and a campfire under the stars is preferable to a warm hearth within stone walls. Settled society has always discriminated against travellers and Jess tells shocking stories of bullying, violence, the enforced break-up of families and separate schooling. But drawing on her own and her familys experiences, she also captures the magic and drama of days wandering the roads and working the land, and brings to life the travellers rich and vibrant traditions.
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