Gypsy Princess, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


A true blooded Gypsy, Violet Cannon grew up the Romany way.

Life was tough at times, living in a cramped one-roomed trailer, but, unbound by strict routines, Violet spent her days learning to keep home, playing and roaming the fields with a sense of freedom long lost to the rest of modern society. Immersed in the Gypsy way of life, her childhood set her apart from other children.

Bullied by classmates, and segregated from 'gorgia' kids (all non-Gypsies), Violet eventually left school at the age of nine to live a life of travel, play and learning under generations-old Gypsy rules on the fringes of society. With traditional values at the heart of her childhood, the pressure of conforming and marrying young was intense.

Gypsy Princess is a searingly honest account of what life is really like for travelling communities, for girls in particular, and captures a way of life that is slowly fading away.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Autobiography: general
  • ISBN: 9780755362837



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Interesting but not well written.Although I enjoyed this book, I came away with the feeling that it could have been raised to a five star read if it had been penned by a ghost writer. It needed someone who would have asked the questions that we, as Gorja (non-gypsies), would have liked to have asked, and it also needed a lot of the repetition removed.I think we are all aware that Gypsies have a hard time, especially in schools, and it was good to learn that members of the Gypsy community are being employed to break down the barriers and ease the process.I was surprised to discover that sex before marriage is highly disapproved of, even the use of the 's' word is taboo. I also learned that Gypsies marry very young, while still in their teens, and the author was frowned on for still being single at the age of 22. Still more surprising, especially considering the confined spaces in which they live, was their attitude towards nudity. Even siblings who share a bed would not expect to see each other unclothed. Similarly, bladder control had to be learned early, as the lack of toilets meant going off site and 'number twos' had to be done in the dark.I would have liked to have known more about the way they kept in contact while separated all over the country - somehow everyone managed to turn up for a family wedding. It would also have been interesting to learn a bit more historical background. While there is a lack of written history, the oral tradition is strong and this could have been fascinating.Although I gave this book 3.5*, I should perhaps mention that within my book group I was in the minority. The three others who attended were not impressed and only gave around 2*. They criticised the writing and the repetition and found it an uninspiring read. Just as well they are not writing this review :)

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