The book consists of three substantial introductory chapters on the history of the Romanies generally and in Britain in particular, and on their culture. Here the authors are indebted to the late Dr. John Sampson of Liverpool, the foremost Romany scholar of his age, whose ashes were scattered to the four winds in the presence of the gypsy community in 1931 (recalled in this book and by Emrys Jones in Y Faner, 22 November 1991). The last two chapters are an outline of the structure and origins of the Romany language, a collection of folk-tales and a 'miscellany' of sayings, proverbs and Romany names of places and things. But at the heart of the book is the family history of Mrs. Jarman, which exemplifies better than the more academic chapters the cultural distinctiveness of the gypsy contribution to Welsh life. In four very solid chapters, the authors present biographical details of the eponymous Abram Wood and his offspring: not an easy task, since the term 'family of Abram Wood' was used colloquially to describe all gypsies, and four or five of that name seem to have knocked around eighteenth-century Wales at various times and places. In fact knowledge of the Abram Wood who founded a distinguished dynasty of Romany/Welsh harpists seems entirely based on memories, perhaps folk memories. What is fascinating about the lives of the descendants of Abram Wood is that they were not the thoroughly marginal race apart of the modern travellers, rejecting the norms of society. Despite the romantic aura which surrounded them, and with which to some extent they surrounded themselves, many of the families of Wood and Roberts seem to have been swimming entirely with the tide of Welsh culture in its Victorian Golden Age. The talent for the Welsh harp, which has been so liberally bestowed on the Wood and Roberts families, took them right to the core of the Welsh cultural establishment. They performed before Queen Victoria and the aristocratic and gentry patrons of Wales of la belle epoque. It was for their playing of Welsh tunes and not Romany ones that they were renowned. Nicholas Bennett, the folk tune collector, went asking them for material for his treasury of Welsh airs, and John Roberts, 'Telynor Cymru', Mrs. Jarman's great-grandfather, played not only the full range of Welsh folk tunes popular with the Victorians, but Sankey and Moody hymns as well. The gypsies of this book seem to be a kind of shadow of the Welsh themselves. For much of the time they were happy to make a substantial contribution to the wider culture of the country, and yet struggled to retain their own ethnic identity. Despite the fact that religion appears in a chapter title, the religious outlook of the gypsies is not fully addressed in this study. Some of the Woods at one point appear to be devout Catholics, but others seemed to espouse a vaguer folk religion more akin to that of the pre-Reformation era. We are not told how this squared with their eminence in the Victorian nonconformist high noon. On social class, too, the authors are somewhat imprecise. Certainly many of the descendants of Abram Wood left their itinerant life and settled, taking up 'rural husbandry and craftsmanship'. Their new place in society and their cultural interests placed them in the 'Llanbrynmair tradition' and might explain Iorwerth Peate's approval.