George Borrow

(1803—1881) writer and traveller

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edited Celebrated Trials, and Remarkable Cases of Criminal Jurisprudence (1825), an impressive piece of hack‐work undertaken for a London publisher, and then travelled through England, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, and in the East, studying the languages of the countries he visited. He published a number of books based in part on his own life, experiences, and travels: The Zincali, or an account of the Gypsies in Spain (1841), The Bible in Spain (1834), Lavengro (1851), The Romany Rye (1857), and Wild Wales (1862). His works have a peculiar picaresque quality, and contain vivid portraits of the extraordinary personages he encountered; his own personality also emerges with much force. Though physically robust, he had suffered since his youth from bouts of manic depression that he referred to as ‘the Horrors’ which often temporarily frustrated him. In Lavengro, The Romany Rye, and The Bible in Spain fact is inextricably combined with fiction; and Lavengro he himself describes as ‘a dream partly of study, partly of adventure’.

Subjects: Literature.

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