The Canongate Burns
by Robert Burns
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Edited by Andrew Noble and Patrick Scott Hogg. The Canongate Burns is the most comprehensive and challenging edition of the poems and songs of Robert Burns ever published. Drawing on extensive scholarship and the poet’s own inimitable letters, this definitive edition offers a wealth of information on Burns’s life and times, the hardship of his early days, his political beliefs, his hatred of injustice and his fate as a writer too often sentimentalised by biographers, critics and well-meaning enthusiasts. The poems are presented in the order of their first appearance, giving further insights into the reception of Burns’s work and the guarded relationship he had both with his readers and his own fame. We see Burns as a radical figure in a British as well as a Scottish context, the peer of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats and Byron in the revolutionary and repressive world of the 1790s. With its inclusion of recently attributed poems, explanatory notes and extensive Scots glosses, The Canongate Burns offers vitally fresh insights into the irreverent spirit and the democratic convictions which illuminate the work of Scotland’s most famous poet. ‘A magnificent and definitive work of scholarship. A thousand pages long, it provides not only a glossary and a context for the poems, but also a textual and historical note for each poem and song.’ Colm Toibin, Independent ‘A very fine edition, and the long introduction, which sets out to clear the tangled banks, is alone worth the cover price.’ Andrew O’Hagan, Scotsman ‘Scholarly and comprehensive.’ Sunday Telegraph
- Canongate Books, July 2010
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