1976 1st North America edition; The O'Brien Press publishers, Dublin; hardbound; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket quite good with minimal edge wear.
The tinkers or travelling people have lived on the margins of Irish society for generations. Until recently very little was known about them. Early written accounts concentrated on their secret language and folklore while ignoring other, more important aspects of their culture and daily life. Much of what was written was highly romanticised and often inaccurate. Many peculiar customs and powers, for example, were ascribed to them. The practise of “wife swapping” was reported by numerous early chroniclers including Arnold, MacRitchie, Sampson, and Synge. Travellers were once said to maintain their health by swallowing soot and campfire ashes. And some...