Professionally rebound with matching slip case. Maroon calf spine with black title plates, gilt banding and lettering. Green and cream marbled boards.
F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.
The best fusion of the old and new.
Craftsman bookbinder, Brian Cole has completely refurbished this work from the Fourth & Sixth Editions so this remarkable rebinding captures the best of Burns. Then this gorgeous four volume set is cleverly positioned in its own box, all in all, securing a further 200 years of reading life.
The sixth & fourth editions of this collected works of Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland. Complete in four volumes.A collection of the poetry of the Scots poet Robert Burns.Robert Burns was an influential Scottish poet of the eighteenth century. He was a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and has remained a significant cultural icon in Scotland.His best known poem is ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which is sung at Hogmanay.Also with an account of his life, a criticism of his writings, and some observations on the character and condition of the Scottish peasantry.
Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language, although much of his writing is in a “light Scots dialect” of English, accessible to an audience beyond Scotland. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.
He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV.
As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. His poem (and song) “Auld Lang Syne” is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and “Scots Wha Hae” served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include “A Red, Red Rose”, “A Man’s a Man for A’ That”, “To a Louse”, “To a Mouse”, “The Battle of Sherramuir”, “Tam o’ Shanter” and “Ae Fond Kiss”.
Burns was born two miles (3 km) south of Ayr, in Alloway, the eldest of the seven children of William Burnes (1721–1784), a self-educated tenant farmer from Dunnottar in the Mearns, and Agnes Broun (1732–1820), the daughter of a Kirkoswald tenant farmer.
He was born in a house built by his father (now the Burns Cottage Museum), where he lived until Easter 1766, when he was seven years old. William Burnes sold the house and took the tenancy of the 70-acre (280,000 m2) Mount Oliphant farm, southeast of Alloway. Here Burns grew up in poverty and hardship, and the severe manual labour of the farm left its traces in a weakened constitution.
He was given irregular schooling and a lot of his education was with his father, who taught his children reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and history and also wrote for them A Manual of Christian Belief. He was also taught and tutored by the young teacher John Murdoch (1747–1824), who opened an “adventure school” in Alloway in 1763 and taught Latin, French, and mathematics to both Robert and his brother Gilbert (1760–1827) from 1765 to 1768 until Murdoch left the parish. After a few years of home education, Burns was sent to Dalrymple Parish School in mid-1772 before returning at harvest time to full-time farm labouring until 1773, when he was sent to lodge with Murdoch for three weeks to study grammar, French, and Latin.
By the age of 15, Burns was the principal labourer at Mount Oliphant. During the harvest of 1774, he was assisted by Nelly Kilpatrick (1759–1820), who inspired his first attempt at poetry, “O, Once I Lov’d A Bonnie Lass”. In 1775, he was sent to finish his education with a tutor at Kirkoswald, where he met Peggy Thompson (born 1762), to whom he wrote two songs, “Now Westlin’ Winds” and “I Dream’d I Lay”.
By 1790, Burns’s worldly prospects were perhaps better than they had ever been but he alienated some acquaintances by freely expressing sympathy with the French, and American Revolutions, for the advocates of democratic reform and votes for all men and the Society of the Friends of the People which advocated Parliamentary Reform. His political views came to the notice of his employers, to which he pleaded his innocence. Burns met other radicals at the Globe Inn Dumfries. As an Exciseman he felt compelled to join the Royal Dumfries Volunteers in March 1795. He lived in Dumfries in a two-storey red sandstone house on Mill Hole Brae, now Burns Street. The home is now a museum. He went on long journeys on horseback, often in harsh weather conditions as an Excise Supervisor. He was kept very busy doing reports, father of four young children, song collector and songwriter. As his health began to give way, he aged prematurely and fell into fits of despondency. The habits of intemperance (alleged mainly by temperance activist James Currie) are said to have aggravated his long-standing possible rheumatic heart condition.
On the morning of 21 July 1796, Burns died in Dumfries, at the age of 37. The funeral took place on Monday 25 July 1796, the day that his son Maxwell was born. He was at first buried in the far corner of St. Michael’s Churchyard in Dumfries; a simple “slab of freestone” was erected as his gravestone by Jean Armour, which some felt insulting to his memory. His body was eventually moved to its final location in the same cemetery, the Burns Mausoleum, in September 1817. The body of his widow Jean Armour was buried with his in 1834.
Armour had taken steps to secure his personal property, partly by liquidating two promissory notes amounting to fifteen pounds sterling (about 1,100 pounds at 2009 prices).The family went to the Court of Session in 1798 with a plan to support his surviving children by publishing a four-volume edition of his complete works and a biography written by James Currie. Subscriptions were raised to meet the initial cost of publication, which was in the hands of Thomas Cadell and William Davies in London and William Creech, bookseller in Edinburgh. Hogg records that fund-raising for Burns’s family was embarrassingly slow, and it took several years to accumulate significant funds through the efforts of John Syme and Alexander Cunningham.
Burns was posthumously given the freedom of the town of Dumfries. Hogg records that Burns was given the freedom of the Burgh of Dumfries on 4 June 1787, 9 years before his death, and was also made an Honorary Burgess of Dumfries.
Through his five surviving children (of 12 born), Burns has over 900 living descendants.
John Masey Wright and John Rogers’ illustration of the poem, c. 1841
“Auld Lang Syne” ( is a popular song, particularly in the English-speaking world. Traditionally, it is sung to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve/Hogmanay. By extension, it is also often heard at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions; for instance, many branches of the Scouting movement use it to close jamborees and other functions.
The text is a Scots-language poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 but based on an older Scottish folk song. In 1799, it was set to a traditional tune, which has since become standard. “Auld Lang Syne” is listed as numbers 6294 and 13892 in the Roud Folk Song Index.
The poem’s Scots title may be translated into standard English as “old long since” or, less literally, “long long ago”, “days gone by”, “times long past” or “old times”. Consequently, “For auld lang syne”, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as “for the sake of old times”.
The phrase “Auld Lang Syne” is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570–1638), Allan Ramsay (1686–1757), and James Watson (1711), as well as older folk songs predating Burns.
In modern times, Matthew Fitt uses the phrase “in the days of auld lang syne” as the equivalent of “once upon a time” in his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language.
Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the old year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year’s Day (1 January) and in some cases, 2 January—a Scottish bank holiday.
The origins of Hogmanay are unclear, but it may be derived from Norse and Gaelic observances of the winter solstice. Customs vary throughout Scotland, and usually include gift-giving and visiting the homes of friends and neighbours, with special attention given to the first-foot, the first guest of the new year.
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