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23 February 2019

Burns books

The best thing about January is Burns. If he hadn't been born in that long, cold month we would have had to create an 'official birthday' to celebrate! Our showcase contains a small selection of books (and one app) about Burns. There are lots more books and articles on our website.


List of all the books featured in the showcase

Poetry, songs and other writing

  • The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (Waverley Books): all of Burns' poems and songs, with a helpful glossary explaining difficult words, a chronology of Burns's life and a bibliography
  • The Lassies by George Scott Wilkie (Neil Wilson): a book about the many women in his life
  • The Luath Burns Companion by John Cairney (Luath Press): a personal selection of poems, songs and other works from 'The Man Who Played Robert Burns'


Biographies of Burns


 The Land of Burns

  • Burns Country by David Carroll (History Press)
  • Robert Burns in Time and Place by Frances Jarvie (NMS) is one of the Scotties series for children and looks at how Robert Burns' poetry was influenced by what was going on around him, in Ayrshire, in Scotland and in the wider world
  • The Literary Traveller in Scotland by Allan Foster (Mainstream Publishing) opens up Scotland's literary landscape for the first time in one concise volume and includes Burns country


Burns Suppers

  • Burns Night: A Freestyle Guide - Boyd Baines (Saraband). A cheeky guide which provides you with all the inspiration you need to host and toast one of the world's greatest birthday parties
  • Burns Night App. Whether you're a veteran of the world's greatest birthday party or it's your first Burns Supper, this is the red, red rose of apps - a complete toolkit for your Burns Night celebration, wherever you are
  • The Broons Burns Night (Waverley Books). Packed with mouthwatering recipes such as skirlie, clapshot, and champit tatties with syboes, this braw book also includes poetry and comments from all the family


Burns in fiction, film and wool

  • Between Ourselves by Donald Smith (Luath Press) focuses on the six months Robert Burns spent in Edinburgh, and is an intriguing insight into the mind and heart of Scotland's greatest poet
  • The Wind that Shakes the Barley by James Barke (Black and White Publishing) is the classic novel of the life and times of Robert Burns
  • Knit Your Own Scotland by Ruth Bailey (Black and White Publishing) provides a completely different type of fictional portrayal (knitted!)


And finally - what did Burns look like?

We don't know but a reconstruction has been attempted by Dundee University. See the results on the university's website and the documentary In Search of Robert Burns which will be repeated on STV at 10.35pm on 25 January 2013 and is also available on STV Player. What we do know is that he doesn't look much like Gerard Butler who has been lined up for a much-delayed film version of Burns' life. For the latest on the film, see Emma Cowing's article of 21 January in The Scotsman.