Portrait of George Borrow

Obtaining Out of Print Borrovian Books

Many of the books by George Borrow, and those about him, are currently out of print, and the Society is often asked how they can be obtained.  There’s no single answer but it’s worth trying:

Graham York Rare Books
225 High Street, Honiton
EX14 1LB

telephone 01 404 41727
e-mail books@gyork.co.uk

Graham is a long-established book dealer who specializes in George Borrow, Gypsies and Spain, and he has extensive experience on what’s available in the antiquarian/second-hand market.

For George Borrow’s main works (Lavengro, The Romany Rye, Zincali, The Bible in Spain and Wild Wales) your local second-hand bookshop may well have copies.  George Borrow’s other works are scarce and will take time to track down.

In the UK there are various second-hand bookfairs around the country where Borrovian books can usually be obtained.  The best known group are The Provincial Booksellers’ Fairs Association, and (at the time of writing) The Book Guide provides information on lots of UK bookfairs.

If you want to use the Internet, there are a number of second-hand book sites which can be used to track down scarce copies of books.  Please remember that if you decide to buy from these sites you should take all the normal precautions, just as you would when buying from anyone you don’t know.  Examples include:

ABE books — booksellers from all over the world


UK Bookworld — covering the UK

Whilst on the Internet, remember that there are a lot of free Borrovian ebooks which you can read/download to your PC/Kindle etc.

Scans of out of copyright (i.e. fairly old) Borrovian books are also available on the Internet.  These can be a bit hit-and-miss and are effectively facsimiles of the older books.  The Internet Archive holds hundreds of thousands of such books which you can freely download (but remember to obey the copyright laws of your country.)

If you want to consult a copy of a Borrovian book (as opposed to obtain one), your local library might be able to help and it’s worth asking them.  For the scare items the following libraries have excellent Borrovian collections (for reference, not loan):

The Millennium Library at Norwich.

(Note they have some items which aren’t in the library catalogue, contact them if you’re unsure.)

The British Library in London.

You need to apply for a reader’s ticket, but their collection is extensive.