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This is an illustration for George Borrow’s novel of gipsy life, 1851. On the left is the hero, Lavengro, whose name translates from Romany as ‘wordsmith’. He is teaching Armenian to Isopel (on the right) in order to deflect her romantic interest in him. Nash’s interest in this imaginative portrayal of the gypsy life reflects, perhaps, his romantic fascination with a lost, idyllic relationship with nature. A ‘dingle’ is a deep, wooded valley.

August 2004