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Robert Burns

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Ayrshire farmer whose 'Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect' (1786) set him on the way to a worldwide reputation as one of the great poets.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the work of the man who, in his lifetime, was called The Caledonian Bard and whose fame and influence was to spread around the world. Burns (1759-1796) was born in Ayrshire and his work as a tenant farmer earned him the label The Ploughman Poet, yet it was the quality of his verse that helped his reputation endure and grow. His work inspired other Romantic poets and his personal story and ideas combined with that, giving his poems a broad strength and appeal - sung by revolutionaries and on Mao's Long March, as well as on New Year's Eve and at Burns Suppers.


Robert Crawford
Professor of Modern Scottish Literature and Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Poetry at the University of St Andrews

Fiona Stafford
Professor of English at the University of Oxford


Murray Pittock
Bradley Professor of English Literature and Pro Vice Principal at the University of Glasgow

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Available now

52 minutes

Last on

Thu 24 Oct 2019 21:30


Murray Pittock at the University of Glasgow

Fiona Stafford at the University of Oxford

Robert Crawford at the University of St Andrews

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Robert Burns – BBC

Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century - The Centre for Robert Burns Studies at the University of Glasgow

Centre for Robert Burns Studies – University of Glasgow

The Burns Federation

Robert Burns – Visit Scotland

Scottish Poetry Library

Robert Burns – Library of Congress and the American Folklife Center

Robert Burns - Wikipedia



Robert Burns (ed. James Kinsley), Robert Burns: The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Gerard Carruthers (ed.), The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Burns (Edinburgh University Press, 2009)

Gerard Carruthers, Robert Burns (Northcote House Publishers, 2007)

Robert Crawford, The Bard: Robert Burns, A Biography (Jonathan Cape, 2009)

Robert Crawford (ed.), Robert Burns and Cultural Authority (University of Iowa Press, 1997)

Robert Crawford and Christopher MacLachlan (ed.), The Best Laid Schemes: Selected Poetry and Prose of Robert Burns (Polygon, 2009)

Nigel Leask, Robert Burns and Pastoral: Poetry and Improvement in Late Eighteenth-Century Scotland (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Nigel Leask (ed.), The Oxford Edition of the Works of Robert Burns: Volume I: Commonplace Books, Tour Journals and Miscellaneous Prose (Oxford University Press, 2014)

Clark McGinn, The Burns Supper: A Concise History (Luath Press, 2018)

Liam McIlvanney, Burns the Radical: Politics and Poetry in Late Eighteenth-century Scotland (Tuckwell Press, 2002)

Murray Pittock (ed.), The Oxford Edition of the Works of Robert Burns: Volumes II and III: The Scots Musical Museum (Oxford University Press, 2018)

Murray Pittock (ed.), Robert Burns in Global Culture (Bucknell University Press, 2011)

David Sergeant and Fiona Stafford (eds.), Burns and Other Poets (Edinburgh University Press, 2011)

Chris Whatley, Immortal Memory: Burns and the Scottish People (John Donald, 2016)



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