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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