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Burns the Radical: Politics and Poetry in Late Eighteenth-century Scotland [Paperback]

Liam McIlvanney
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

26 Aug 2002
In this text, the author looks behind the trivializing image of the "heav'n-taught ploughman" to uncover the intellectual context of the poet's political radicalism. He reveals Burns as a sophisticated political poet whose work draws on a range of intellectual resources: the democratic, contactarian ideology of Scottish Peresbyterianism, the English and Irish "Real Whig" tradition, and the political theory of the Scottish Enlightenment. Throwing light on the poet's education and his early reading, Liam McIlvanney provides detailed readings of Burn's major poems. The book also offers research on Burns's links with Irish poets and radicals, providing a radical interpretation of the man who is coming to be recognized as the poet laureate of the radical Enlightenment.

Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Tuckwell Press Ltd (26 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862321779
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862321779
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,176,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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""Innovative, fascinating, scholarly, and highly readable."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Burns Enthusiast 30 Dec 2008
This wonderful thought-provoking book, which together with The Patriot Bard and The Canongate Burns, provide the reader with the real story of Burns and the times in which he lived, rather than some of the tartan-clad nonsense perpetrated by those who see Burns as a humbled, obedient, sanitised poet who could not think for himself.
The authors, in my opinion, have brought Burns back to us as a real man all Scotland can be proud of, not just because of his wonderful poems and songs, but a man who observed what was going on around him, socially and politically, and wrote, sometimes anonymously, sometimes pseudonymously, (lest he be arrested and off for a wee holiday to Botany Bay), of the anti-democratic government of the day, including the terror times, of 1793-4 in particular, when the sedition trials were in full flow, knowledge of which our schoolchildren generally have no idea. These are books to be treasured and visited regularly, and a great asset to any Burns student or speaker.
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