John Jolliffe

Gypsy Living

Along the Enchanted Way: A Romanian Story

By

John Murray 305pp £20 order from our bookshop

William Blacker has spent many years, on and off, living in primitive, almost medieval conditions in two remote areas of Romania. This book is an episodic account of his extraordinary experiences.

The first part concerns pastoral life in a small village in the north of Transylvania, not far from the Ukrainian border and from the eastern tip of Slovakia. On arrival he was asked by an old lady where he had come from. On being told England, two thousand miles away to the north-west, she asked in astonishment, ‘But how did you find the way?’ (assuming that all the land in between was criss-crossed by forest tracks and obscure footpaths). In the spring he would plough with horses in small fields surrounded by pear trees in glorious blossom; in summer there was haymaking with a scythe, like Levin in Anna Karenina; and in the winter everyone was housebound by the iron frost and snow. He was lovingly adopted by a childless farmer whose farewell at the end of the book expresses a beautiful tenderness.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,