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Robert Burns Lives!
Contains much information on Burns & his associations & is valuable to the Burns Student. J Williamson, Meadowfield


Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Greater Atlanta, GA, USA
Email: jurascot@earthlink.net

Note from Alastair McIntyre.  I found this book 'In Ayrshire" A Descriptive Picture of the County of Ayr with relative notes on interesting local subjects, by William Scott Douglas, Editor of 'The Kilmarnock Edition" of Burns (1874) (pdf) and in it I found the hand written note saying "Contains much information on Burns & his associations & is valuable to the Burns Student. by J Williamson, Meadowfield. I thus thought I'd add this to Frank's collection of stories about Robert Burns.

In Ayrshire
By
William Scott Douglas, Editor of 'The Kilmarnock Edition" of Burns (1874)

PREFACE

IN venturing to give this first of three instalments of a promised undertaking to the reading public, the writer may be expected to say a word or two in shape of preface. He believes that the Publisher's first intention in projecting this little work was both modest and plausible. His thoughts being ever occupied with the affairs of his native shire, and the writings of and concerning its deathless minstrel, it occurred to him that a lively abridgement of the latest Statistical Account of the various parishes in the county might be made a very "handy book," and at same time a desirably interesting one, if its writer, in traversing that classic ground, would, while never losing sight of WALLACE and BRUCE, seize every opportunity of saying something about BURNS.

The exercise of his pen in the latter direction being quite congenial to the present writer's tastes and habitudes, he was easily persuaded to enter on the work; but he
little dreamed of the amount of dry and wearing routine he was doomed to encounter in pursuing the plan prescribed. Restricted in regard to space, he had to cram loads of dreary topography and statistics into small compass, as a background on which to shape more pleasurable objects of contemplation. Only thus could he introduce scenes and incidents attractive by their own intrinsic interest and perennial freshness. The district of Cunninghame being chosen as the starting-place, his best efforts were often tasked to infuse some degree of life into his materials; for only in Kilmarnock, Loudoun, Irvine, and Dunlop could he manage to introduce "Burnsiana" in any measure. Where that failed, he had to betake himself to the graves of the Covenanters not irreverently he trusts, and when these were wanting, a ballad, a witch-story, or some vague tradition had to do service in beguiling the more fatiguing portions of his tour.

Having at length "squared the circle" of the northern division of the county, the writer trusts that the Publisher may meet with encouragement to complete the plan by soon producing similar sketches of each parish in Kyle, and in Carrick. In these districts the harvest of themes possessing more than local interest is more abundant than in Cunninghame; and should circumstances prevent the present writer from resuming this work, competent labourers shall not be wanting to give the finishing grace to what has by him been so imperfectly begun.

EDINBURGH, 17th Nov., 1874.

Read the book "In Ayrshire" in pdf format


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