BORROW, GEORGE ITENRY (1803-81). An English author. lie was born at East Dereham, Norfolk, July 5, 1803, the son of Capt. Thomas Borrow, of the \Vest Norfolk Regiment. Moving with his father's regiment from one station to another, he saw much of England. He was also for a short time in Edinburgh, where he attended the high school, and then in Ireland. In 1816 the family settled at Norwich, and three later George was articled to the law. He had already acquired some knowledge of seven lan guages; and now, instead of attending to the law, he proceeded to study seven more. He had also become interested in the gypsies, and had read many tales of wild adventure. On the death of his father (1824) he went to London, where he was employed as compiler and hack; his longest production was Celebratml Trials (1825), giving the record of all sorts of criminals. Tothis period also belongs Romantic Ballads (1826), translations from the 1)anish. In 1838 Borrow was appointed agent for the British and Foreign Bible Society. Now began, in the service of this society, his extensive tours through Russia, and afterwards through Portugal and Spain. Later lie traveled as far east as Constantinople. True to his youthful predilection, lie made the gypsies scattered over every part of Europe one of the principal subjects of his study. And he was eon
tinuallY adding to his vast linguistic knowledge. In 1846 lie married and settled on Onlion Broad, near Lowestoft. From here he made many exeur sions through Celtic Britain—Cornwall, Wales, Ireland, etc.—and for a time lived at Yarmouth. In MO he removed to London. and in 1874 re. turned to Oulton, where he died, .July 26, 1881. Borrow was a man of splendid physique. His knowledge of languages was probably more exten sive than profound. But in literature lie has left a name. His first important work—The Zinc('li, an account of the gypsies in Spain—appeared in 1841. It was followed two years later by The Bible in Spain., the most widely read of all 13or row's works. In 1851 was published Barengro, and in 1857 its sequel. The Romany Rye. These three fascinating books are largely autobiograph ical. Of almost equal interest is Wild Wales (1862). For an authoritative life of Borrow, consult Knapp. 2 vols. (London. 1899). Knapp has also carefully edited Larcnyro, The Romany Rye. and other works (London, 1900).