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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.
Dominic Reeve wrote Smoke in the Lanes, his first book, in 1958. Since then he has written four more books including Beneath the Blue Sky: Four Decades of the Gypsy Traveller Life. He lives and works in a semi-nomadic style with his partner, Beshlie, an illustrator.