I read an older edition of this reprint, written in the middle of the 19c by a polymathic, apparently largely self-educated, English wandering scholar who popularized his adventures, usually among the gypsies in England (as here) and later in Spain, as well as among the native Welsh. This book suits a lazy, digressive, and leisurely pace. Borrow cannot obtain a position in the military due to his father's lack of clout and little cash, so he goes to London to try to make his fortune by various legit and shady schemes, among them the shell game, publishing, and being a writer for hire. Outrageous coincidences occur in Dickensian style as he wanders about, running in to the same small circle of cronies over and over to instructive effect!
I cannot tell where Lavengro ends and Romany Rye begins, but by the subtitle of the first, "The Priest, the Scholar, and the Gypsy," I assume this refers to Borrow's conversations with these folks on philological, historical, and theological topics. The latter part of the work finds Borrow trying to pursue a trade as a smith while living in a dingle, courting a refugee lass from a pair of pugilistic thieves--whom Borrow tries to teach Armenian as a covert way with which to communicate with her--and carrying on with a very freethinking lifestyle against authority, very early Victorian style.
No dates and few locales are given, so all of this happens in sort of post-Regency vacuum. Borrow in that long-winded, autodidactic, eccentric manner latches on to a hobby-horse and rides it as long as he wishes, but he manages to be provocative, entertaining, and a wonderful companion, probably more so on paper than he might be in person! His obsessive determination to teach an ex-workhouse girl Armenian declensions and conjugations strikes me as either wonderfully tongue-in-cheek or dismayingly oblivious. The pleasure of the book is that I cannot decide which.