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Rabbit Stew and a Penny or Two

A Gypsy Family’s Hard and Happy Times on the Road in the 1950s
Narrated by: Patience Tomlinson
Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Born on a Somerset pea-field in 1941, the second of eight children in a Romani family, Maggie Smith-Bendell has lived through the years of greatest change in the travelling community's long history. As a child, Maggie rode and slept in a horse-drawn wagon, picked hops and flowers, and sat beside her father's campfire on ancient verges, poor but free to roam. As the twentieth century progressed, common land was fenced off and the traditional ways disappeared.

Eventually Maggie married a house-dweller and tried to settle for bricks and mortar, but she never lost the restless spirit, the deep love of the land and the gift for storytelling that were her Romani inheritance.

©2009 Maggie Smith-Bendell (P)2010 Isis Publishing Ltd

What listeners say about Rabbit Stew and a Penny or Two

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Profile Image for Deb
  • Deb
  • 14-06-2012

Not much substance in this Stew

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was an interesting History lesson about the Gypsy families in Britain but that was about all. I found myself wanting something to happen but it plodded along.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

It was an autobiography but didn't offer much in the way of a ripping yarn

Which character – as performed by Patience Tomlinson – was your favorite?

The main characters of the story were all performed well.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It would depend who is playing the roles of the characters

Any additional comments?

I was disappointed with this story it just didn't go anywhere for me.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Olivia Wylie
  • 13-02-2020

A Powerful Tale Of A Life On The Roads

Following the writer from her childhood through her work as a Romani activist, this is an endearing and very moving story of Romani life in the changing days after WWII and into the modern era. I adored it.

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  • Westley
  • 25-02-2018

Cushty

Beautiful written book about the hardships of being a Romany traveler and about are culture Maggie is a true inspiration.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah shailes
  • 10-05-2020

brilliant

I loved this book that much I bought it in paperback brilliantly read. the lady that reads the book makes it feel like your there with them I highly recommend it to you all

1 person found this helpful

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  • jayceeemm
  • 09-09-2019

Moving story of travellers and their struggles

A very well written and documented story of the gypsy and traveler communities and their struggles with local authority’s who don’t want them in their communities. I have worked with and for gypsy’s / travellers and never had anything but admiration for them. I would stand up for them against a lot of so called Christian community’s.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-05-2018

bygone times

Thoroughly enjoyed listening to Maggie reliving her life and telling it how it was through the hard and the good of a Romany travellers bygone way of life. Sad that those traditions and cultural ways will be lost due to ignorance and modern ideals. Lovely that Maggie has chose to share those memories so we can have an idea of what it was like to be a true Romany traveller .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Teresa Allen
  • 21-05-2017

Great audio version

Where does Rabbit Stew and a Penny or Two rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was the first so I am looking forward to listening to more the same sort of story

What was one of the most memorable moments of Rabbit Stew and a Penny or Two?

listening about the old granny and remembering back to my childhood

Have you listened to any of Patience Tomlinson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

no not yet

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

loved it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Helen
  • 04-07-2015

Brilliant

I really enjoyed listening to this and getting and insight into the Romany way of life very educational

1 person found this helpful

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  • Emily thomas
  • 06-02-2015

a good read

it's such a shame that the travelling communities are treated this way, seeing their way of life through a young child's perspective realising that it is a cultural difference and a way of life, threaten by our laws which are suppose to protect people from discrimination.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Miss M J Sivyour
  • 16-08-2020

loved it

A marvellous tale of family life on the road and the struggles due to the social changes after the war.
Having one side of the family being new forest gypsys way back, it was marvellous to read how valued they were in the static community but sad to realise that this changed during the war period and after and how received they were when advised to invest land to settle on once the century old stops were blocked or built up.
The tale doesn't sound romanticized, instead just a fireside tale of old ways now lost.
definatley a favorite for me

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-2020

Good read

a lovely story of a Romany family and their way of life throught the eyes of their daughter