Dating from the late 1800s, this memoir gives us a glimpse into the resilient lives of a Romany Gypsy family in one of the most transformative centuries in British history. We enter into their world of birth and death, childhood and schooling, courtship and marriage, their domestic and working life, and their love of life up close to nature in their tents and caravans. These stories of the old and current travelling traditions show how Zillah and her family have survived and thrived through times of war, violence, evictions and persecution.
Available from YouCaxton
£10.00 (+ £2 postage)
Number of copies:
Available from Amazon
Netta is a graduate of Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Keele and Birmingham Universities and is a school counselling trainer with thirty years school-teaching experience. She was Equal Opportunities Advisor for Staffordshire LEA where she promoted anti-racist projects in schools. She leads peer-support courses in the UK and abroad in primary and secondary schools in the public and private sector. Her publications include: "Towards Bully Free Schools: Interventions in Action" (OUP); “Peer Support Works: a Step by Step Guide to Long Term Success” (Network Continuum); and many articles in educational journals. Her work in schools has been featured on Channel 4 and BBC1.
The Travellers Times Book review
Read this excellent review in The Traveller's Times
Dr. Martin Kovats
Political Scientist, Former Advisor to the EU Commission on the EU Roma Integration Framework
“I enjoyed this book very much. It provides such an insightful account of Zillah’s life as a Gypsy from an age of horse powered freedom to council sites. Zillah’s story illustrates the central importance of kinship as the world changes around her and her own life is transformed. For her it is caring for the chavvies, parents, siblings and husband that is most important. I also liked the use of photos, themselves treasured family mementos, to illustrate her memories. The text is honest using direct quotes to provide authenticity.”
Pat Sanderson, Poet.
“Netta Cartwright invited Zillah in and got to know her and her family in a relationship that has spanned thirty years. This remarkable book is the result. She has told Zillah’s story with compassion and humour. It is a fascinating piece of social history.”
Thomas Acton OBE, Emeritus Professor of Romani Studies, University of Greenwich.
“An unaffected and deeply felt depiction of the complex intensity of English Romani family life over the past one hundred years. It is a rare book about a Romani woman by a woman and valuable for that.”
Dr Liz Doherty, Professor Emerita, Sheffield Hallam University
“This is an important piece of social history. The evocative narrative weaves Zillah’s current life together with memories and stories from the past, and a world of freedom, colour, hardship and fierce loyalty is opened up to the reader.”
Roy Samson, Writer.
“Zillah’s story is of a life lived more intensely than most of us experience. The Many Lives allows us glimpses into a world that is close to ours yet intriguingly strange, seeming more natural but rapidly passing. Netta Cartwright tells the story with warm commitment and love.”