The private life of Robert Burns

January 25, 2017

An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on 24th January 2017:

Portrait of Robert Burns
It’s almost that time of year again, when families, friends, and acquaintances get together to host a Burns supper, and celebrate the life and poetry of Robert Burns. Variously known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire or the Ploughman Poet, Burns is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and indeed celebrated worldwide. At a traditional event, a speaker will recount the life of Robert Burns in an “immortal memory” – often the highlight of the evening.

Despite these speeches occurring all over the globe on 25 January, there are still some lesser-known aspects of Robert Burns’ life. For instance, did you know that he harboured a deep-rooted desire to move to Jamaica, or that he was quite the radical in terms of both international politics and religion? We’ve delved into the personal correspondence of Robert Burns to learn more about his private life and opinions. Just like his poetry, the letters mix thoughtful sentimentality with humour and coarseness, and have the power to inspire and shock in equal measure…

Read the rest of this article on the OUPblog >

Image Credit: ‘Portrait of Robert Burns, Ayr, Scotland', from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


Are you interested in using OSEO? Go straight in to some selected works, or watch our how to videos. If you don't have a subscription find out how to subscribe.