George Borrow, a Norfolk man, served with the British and Foreign Bible Society. His first posting was to Russia in 1833, where he oversaw the printing of a Manchu New Testament and then to Portugal and Spain (1835-1840) as a colporteur. In his native Norfolk he spent much of his time among the Romanies, so it was natural that he should seek these people out in Spain also. He learnt their language sufficiently to compile a Romani-English Dictionary and to translate the Gospel of Luke into it. He wrote of his adventures on the Iberian Peninsula in The Bible in Spain (1843).
Visit the George Borrow page for the download links to his Biography by Herbert Jenkins and to The Bible in Spain.
During the whole of Borrow’s manhood there was probably only one period when he was unquestionably happy in his work and content with his surroundings. He may almost be said to have concentrated into the seven years (1833-1840) that he was employed by the British and Foreign Bible Society in Russia, Portugal and Spain, a lifetime’s energy and resource. From an unknown hackwriter, who hawked about unsaleable translations of Welsh and Danish bards, a travelling tinker and a vagabond Ulysses, he became a person of considerable importance. His name was acclaimed with praise and enthusiasm at Bible meetings from one end of the country to the other. He developed an astonishing aptitude for affairs, a tireless energy, and a diplomatic resourcefulness that aroused silent wonder in . those who had hitherto regarded him as a failure. His illegal imprisonment in Madrid nearly brought about a diplomatic rupture between Great Britain and Spain, and later his missionary work in the Peninsula was referred to by Sir Robert Peel in the House of Commons as an instance of what could be achieved by courage and determination in the face of great difficulties.Page ix