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The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Burns

Edited by Gerard Carruthers

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The Edinburgh Companion to Robert Burns provides both a comprehensive introduction to and the most contemporary critical contexts for the study of Robert Burns. Detailed commentary on the artistry of Burns is complemented by material on the cultural reception and afterlife of this most iconic of world writers. The biographical construction of Burns is examined as are his relations to Scottish, Romantic and International cultures. Burns is also approached in terms of his engagements with Ecology, Gender, Pastoral, Politics, Pornography, Slavery, and Song-culture, and there is extensive coverage of publishing history including Burns's place in popular, bourgeois and Enlightenment cultures during the late eighteenth century.

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Brief Biography of Robert Burns
Introduction, Gerard Carruthers
1. Burns and Publishing, Gerard Carruthers
2. Burns and Women, Sarah Dunnigan
3. Burns and the Rhetoric of Narrative, Kenneth Simpson
4. Burns and the Poetics of Abolition, Nigel Leask
5. Burns and Politics, Colin Kidd, 6. Burns's Songs and Poetic Craft, Kirsteen McCue
7. Burns and Robert Fergusson, Rhona Brown
8. Burns and Romantic Writing, Fiona Stafford
9. Burns the Critic, Corey Andrews
10. Burns, Scott and Intertextuality, Alison Lumsden
11. Burns and Virgil, Steven R. McKenna
12. Burns and Transnational Culture, Leith Davis
Further Reading
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Gerard Carruthers is Reader and Head of Department in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow. He is General Editor of the forthcoming multi-volume Oxford University Press edition of the works of Robert Burns and is Director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies. He is also the author of Robert Burns (Northcote, 2006), editor of The Devil to Stage: Five Plays by James Bridie (ASLS, 2007), Burns: Poems (Everyman, 2006) and co-editor of Beyond Scotland: New International Contexts for Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature (Rodopi, 2004), Walter Scott's Reliquiae Trotcosienses (Edinburgh University Press, 2004) and English Romanticism and the Celtic World (Cambridge University Press, 2003).


The Edinburgh Companion is a sprightly collection of new essays well edited by Gerard Curruthers ... This is an excellent volume, nicely produced ... and admirably presented.

- Bernard Beatty, Universities of Liverpool and St Andrews, Scotia

The Scotsman Books of the year: Writers' choice

Readable, bite-sized, and fresh introductions to an admirably eclectic range of Burns-related topics.

- Christopher Whatley, The Scotsman

Scrupulously academic … A definitive survey of the present state of Burns Studies … Taken together, these essays provide enormous stimulation for readers familiar with Burns, who will go back to the poems with new insights from every essay. What sets this collection apart from its predecessors is that many of these studies, taken individually, provide benchmark accounts to which teachers will send students as starting points for their own essays on particular aspects of Burns's work.

- Robert Irvine, University of Edinburgh, The Byron Journal

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