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Robert Burns and the Love-Begotten Babies

It's a pity that the reputation of Robert Burns, a prolific and uniformly brilliant poet, is consistently condensed into the same few poems, quoted and misquoted over and over again. He wrote on diverse topics - money and politics among them - but only a few of his works are widely known. A recurrent theme was his love for and lack of shame in babies born in unconventional circumstances. Admittedly Burns wa ...

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Robert Burns’ face? Cherchez la femme

The rosy cheeked and elegantly coiffed image of Robert Burns as portrayed by Alexander Nasmyth is the one that has come to be universally accepted - but how close is it to reality? Has the old familiar image prevented us from seeing the real man? Using forensic technology, a 3D model was recently created at Dundee University to show Robert Burns 'as he really was'. Apart from having Burns look like somethin ...

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An Oberammergau for Dumfries: pageant brings Burns into the sun

Robert Burns, poet, songwriter and Scottish icon, spent his last seven years in Dumfries in Scotland's south west. It was his retreat from the Edinburgh literary world that had brought him, only a year before, contemporary fame. It was in Dumfries he wrote his great songs, Auld Lang Syne, My Love is like a Red Red Rose  and John Anderson My Jo. It was here he had his children and died too soon at 37.  A new ...

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Robert Burns – catch the moments as they fly…

On this day in 1759 Robert Burns, one of Scotland's flawed but freakishly able sons, was born. We mark the anniversary with a quote - not from his poems but from his letters. It's a simple but beautifully put manifesto that reveals the warmth of Burns' poet heart: *** 'No doubt there is much I'll have to answer for, yet my philosophy was simple enough. Whatever mitigates the woes or increases the happiness ...

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Celebrate Burns Night with our Happythought giveaway!

Next week is Burns Night, when the life and works of Scotland's greatest poet Robert Burns will be celebrated around the world with formal gatherings, casual get togethers and perhaps the odd solitary armchair reading, glass of whisky in hand. To mark the occasion, we're delighted to have copies of a brilliant downloadable Burns Night Companion to giveaway to three lucky readers. Worth £6.50 ($9.95), this f ...

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