This work aims to separate the facts from the fiction about Robert Burns's life. The book draws on letters, manuscripts, paintings and artefacts held by the National Museums of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland. It explores the world in which he lived and tells the story of one of Scotland's greatest poets. This text is published to accompany "Pride and Passion", the official Burns exhibition at the Royal Museum of Scotland.
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Robert Burns is an enduring national figure with an international reputation. His life was cut short at the early age of 37, yet his achievement was extraordinary, and a lasting inspiration to this country. This book explores the personality of the poet against the background of the Scotland that he loved-and the parts of it that he loathed. Drawing on a rich collection of resources from Scotland’s national institutions and beyond, Gavin Sprott travels forgotten territory and traces the links between Burns the man how we see him today.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
I don’t know if you have a just idea of my character, but I wish you to see me as I am. – I am, as the most people of my trade are, a strange will o’ wisp being; the victim too frequently of much imprudence and many follies. – My great constituent elements are Pride and Passion: the first I have endeavoured to humanize into integrity and honour; the last makes me a Devotee to the warmest degree of enthusiasm, in Love, Religion, or Friendship…
That was how Robert Burns described himself to Nancy McLehose in a letter of December 1787. As he wrote he was sitting in bed in a flat in Edinburgh’s new Town, laid up with an injured knee, the result of a fall from a coach. He had met Mrs McLehose just over three weeks before and they had been instantly interested in one another. She was the same age as himself, estranged from her husband, and an evidently pretty woman. And it was she who had taken the initiative, inviting the poet to come and drink tea with her. It would have been one of his last social calls before he left Edinburgh to return to Ayrshire, but the accident intervened and he remained several weeks longer. From this relationship we are left with a famous exchange of letters between ‘Sylvander’ and ‘Clarinda’, as Burns now styled himself and Nancy, and that no less famous song of parting, ‘Ae Fond Kiss’.
It is one of the peculiarities of human behaviour that we usually take others as their own valuation. We believe what people say about themselves until proven otherwise. Consider the boldness of a statement: ‘a strange will o’ wisp being … much imprudence and many follies … Pride and Passion … integrity and honour… Devotee … in Love, Religion, or Friendship’. Was the poet’s measure of himself true?
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Book Description HMSO, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0114957444
Book Description Stationery Office, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0114957444
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97801149574451.0