Search just our sites by using our customised search engine
Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Robert Burns Lives!
Review of Maurice Lindsay’s The Burns Encyclopedia, Revised and Edited by David Purdie, Kirsteen McCue and Gerard Carruthers

Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Dawsonville, GA, USA

This is a book that should have been revised and re-edited years ago. There are three previous editions and when I checked my own library, I found two, the 1959 and 1970 publications. It is rare for one man to attempt such a prodigious task but Glasgow-born Maurice Lindsay was a talented author, poet, journalist, broadcaster (radio and television) and anthologist. In the 1970 version, there are 25 books listed on poetry, prose, music and anthologies. Lindsay left his mark on literature both verbally and by written word. Since 1980 his Burns encyclopedia has been dangling like overly ripened fruit ready for someone to revise, add to or subtract from if needed. It called out for new life to be breathed into it, and it was time to raise the windows and let fresh air filter across the works of Burns that have been discovered since the last edition was published.

Three Burns scholars stepped forward to accept this herculean task, Prof. David Purdie, Dr. Kirsteen McCue and Prof. Gerard Carruthers. It would have been wonderful for any one of these three to revise the book but, thankfully for the Burns world, three better scholars could not have been picked to revise this historical work! Their efforts have been proclaimed as masterful and highly praiseworthy and accolades are continuing to come forward.

Robert Burns Lives! proclaims this new publication as the best book for laymen and scholars alike on Robert Burns in over 30 years. It will take on an international status few books have achieved and, as the years go by, it will continue to grow in importance. It will sell like few books on Burns or any other poet have sold. Why such praise? Simply put, it is an encyclopedia and not a biography on Burns. Thus researchers will return to it time and time again and not simply to one section where an old fragment or document has recently been discovered. Laymen will keep this book close by because they will understand it. Those of us fortunate enough to have been asked to deliver an Immortal Memory, speak at a Burns conference, or just give a talk to a local Burns club will be grateful for this revised composition. And then, there is the cost. It is a book any follower of Burns can afford. That, my friends, is an unbeatable combination when publisher Robert Hale in London lists the book for £30.00. May I suggest you do something nice for yourself and make this purchase! This new edition of the Burns Encyclopedia is a gift that keeps on giving. Hats off to David Purdie, Kirsteen McCue and Gerry Carruthers for a book that Scots Magazine refers to as “an invaluable asset to any bookshelf”. (FRS: 2.4.14)

Return to Robert Burns Lives! Index Page


This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus