19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, No 1 (2005)

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Cultural Philanthropy, Gypsies and Interdisciplinary Scholars: Dream of a Common Language

Regenia Gagnier


Although he was a major force in fin-de-siecle cultural philanthropy in both North America and Britain, Charles Godfrey Leland is today known mainly through Occult websites on the Internet. This essay retrieves his research on the gypsies, revealing an unexplored source of Victorian philanthropy, and scrutinizes it from the perspectives of disciplines different from his own, philology: history, demography, ethnic studies, ethics, and politics. The essay is in four parts: I. Victorian Cultural Philanthropy: People Making People, and Some People Making Things II. Gypsy Lorists: The Non-Christian Roots of Philanthropy, III. Philanthropy's Other: The Persecution of the Gypsies, IV. Interdisciplinarity as Collectivity.

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