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Robert Burns

Wander through the written words, songs, and historical depictions of the Scotland's bard, and you will find yourself exploring Scotland without ever leaving your chair. Northern Scotland is celebrated in song; Perth is visited through a lament made by Mary Queen of Scots, and "Robert Bruce's March to Bannockburn" tells of a time of battle, hopes and conflict.

From "On a Bank of Flowers" celebrating a kindling romance to a 4-line epitaph to William Nicol in Edinburgh, Burns takes you through many aspects of life in 18th Century Scotland.

Burns was born in January 1759 to a farming family. Upon his father's death, he tried to make a living from the earth, but found his greatest strength in writing poetry. Wanting to emigrate to Jamaica a collection of his poems was published in 1786. They were so well received in Scotland, Robert Burns never left.

Married in 1785, Robert and Jean had fourteen children, so there was still a living to be made. Settling in Dumfries he became an excise agent. However, there was the time, and the funds, to tour Scotland with James Johnson.

The two men collected hundreds of Scottish songs and Burns spent the last twelve years of his life editing this collection. These, along with his original poems, brought international attention to Robert Burns' home country.

Finding himself in sympathy with the French Revolution, Burns became increasingly involved in politics. He wrote several well known political works, such as "Is There For Honest Poverty".

Robert Burns died very young. He was only 37 years old when he succumbed to heart disease. Burns' birthday is celebrated each year on the 25th of January - Robert Burns Day - all over the world, the first one taking place five years after his death. Burns Suppers are filled with laughter, poetry, songs, whisky, and haggis.

Burns House in Dumfries, where Robert Burns spent the last years of his life, is a great way to explore the lives both of the bard and of his family. There are original manuscripts to see here, among the host of artifacts. For collections of his works, Broughton House merits a visit.

Article by 'Tudor Rose'

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