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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Arts and Humanities legacy departments
Title: The verse-epistles of Robert Burns : a critical study
Authors: Wilson, Gavin Scott
Supervisor(s): Low, Donald
Buchan, David
Issue Date: 1976
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: From the introduction: So vast is the body of published work on Burns that one must justify yet another study of the poet. From 1786 to the present, his life and poetry have always had popular appeal. In his lifetime, he was an object of attention to all classes of society, from Ayrshire peasants to the habitue of Edinburgh drawing-roans, and detractors, idolaters, and disinterested parties have continued to scrutinize his achievements and failings. Popular attention has never wavered. In the nineteenth century especially, many and varied editions of Burns's poetry were published to satisfy this curiosity. Some were lavish, some cheap; some accurate, others, wildly imaginative. Nor has this demand noticeably slackened in the present century. Not a year passes without some book or pamphlet, albeit ephemeral, being published on Burns. To the scholarly mind, "popular", when applied to Burns studies, usually implies superficiality and this assumption all too often proves correct. It can hardly be said that the best minds of each age since Burns's death have considered him worthy of their critical attention in the way that Shakespeare, or Dante, or Milton have engaged scholars, editors, and publishers in succeeding generations. Byron, Coleridge, Hazlitt, Emerson, Carlyle, and Mac=armid have commented on Burns, and in the nineteenth century important and durable editorial work was undertaken. Nevertheless, it remains true that it was not until the twentieth century, and then only in bursts, that there developed a scholarly, academic interest to match the popular enthusiasm for Robert Burns.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
Literature and Languages
Department of English Studies

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