by Maggie Smith-Bendell - £8.99 Little, Brown Book Group (Abacus) (2010)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780349123615 | ISBN 10: 0349123616
Born on a Somerset pea-field in 1941, the second of eight children in a Romani family, Maggie Smith-Bendell has lived through the years of greatest change in the travelling community’s long history. As a child, Maggie rode and slept in a horse-drawn wagon, picked hops and flowers, and sat beside her father’s campfire on ancient verges, poor but free to roam. As the twentieth century progressed, common land was fenced off and the traditional ways disappeared. Eventually Maggie married a house-dweller and tried to settle for bricks and mortar, but she never lost the restless spirit, the deep love of the land and the gift for storytelling that were her Romani inheritance.
Maggie’s story is one of hardship and prejudice, but also, unforgettably, it recalls the glories of the travelling life, in the absolute safety of a loyal and loving family.
(Price & availability last checked: January 2019)
In booklists: Travellers and Romany People, Childhood Memoirs, In categories: Anti-Racism, World - Europe, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas, Ireland, Scotland & Wales, History & Biography, Children & Young People,