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on 30 December 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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