The Canongate Burns

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Canongate U.S., Jan 1, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 1017 pages
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Drawing on extensive scholarship and the poet's own inimitable letters, this edition offers a wealth of information on Burns's life, the hardships of his early days, his political beliefs, his hatred of injustice, and his fate as a writer too often sentimentalized by biographers and critics. Through his poetry, and as if for the first time, we see Burns as a radical figure in a British as well as a Scottish context, the peer of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, and Byron in the revolutionary and repressive world of the 1790s. Containing recently attributed and never-before-published poems demonstrating that the poet's political sympathies were more radical than he could safely put his name to in public, The Canongate Burns also includes the sexually scandalous verses known as "The Merry Muses," originally circulated only in handwritten copies. This major and definitive edition offers vitally fresh insights into the irreverent spirit and the democratic convictions of Scotland's greatest poet. "A magnificent and definitive work of scholarship." -- Colm Toibin, The Independent "The Canongate Burns is a very fine edition, and the long introduction ... is alone worth the cover price." -- Andrew O'Hagan, The Scotsman "This scholarly and comprehensive edition of his poems puts those much-loved fragments of wit and whimsy in their full context." -- The Sunday Telegraph
  

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Contents

IV
1
V
167
VI
235
VII
287
VIII
423
IX
531
X
947
XI
977
XII
1005
XIII
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Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. Along with Walter Scott, he is probably the best known Scottish writer in the world. His life story is often represented as one of sexual and alcoholic excess. Perhaps less well known is the political turmoil of the time, and the physical hardships which he endured, which at one point led him to contemplate emigrating to Jamaica. It was the success of his published poetry that helped change his mind, and he went on to be lionised by Edinburgh society and the literary establishment, as much a misunderstood and sentimentalised "heaven-taught ploughman" as the Ettrick Shepherd. Like James Hogg, Burns wrote scathing satirical poetry such as Holy Willie's Prayer in which he scorned religious bigots and hypocrits.

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