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Robert Burns


Robert Burns
(1759—1796)

Poet

Born in Alloway on 25 January 1759, Burns is one of Scotland’s most celebrated children. His first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, saved him from financial disaster; he also produced in two collections of songs — one of his own, and one of old Scots airs. But heavy drinking broke his fragile health and left him dead at 37. Burns had many children, legitimate and illegitimate, all of whom he loved and took responsibility for. His politics, despite a romantic Jacobitism, were republican: he passionately supported the French Revolution of 1789. Burns’ appeal is enduring and international, and his birthday is celebrated each year by fans of his life and works.

Robert Burns: The Lassies Robert Burns was fond of women, and his well-documented affairs have earned him a reputation as a rake and womaniser. It was said that he couldn't just admire a lass, he would fall head-over-heels. And every woman that Burns loved became a flawless beauty with an equally flawless character. During his short life Burns wrote a great deal of poetry to or about women. Some were written as love poems or songs, intended to sway the heart of whoever had caught his eye, others in honour of a more casual acquaintance whose beauty or talents had impressed him in some way. Others were composed simply as a form of thank you. This is a collection of all these poems, each accompanied by a detailed history of Burns' relationship with the subject. Was he the philanderer and rake he's said to be? George Scott Wilkie looks at the letters, poems and sonnets - a collection covering over 80 women from his first flighty glance of a haughty laird's daughter, through the women who fathered his children to the delectable, unattainable Clarinda.

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