A facsimile edition of the rarest work for any Burns collector
Robert Burns (1759–1796) is world renowned as Scotland's National Bard. In 1786 he published Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, a book that immediately gained him fame. Burns was also one of the greatest songwriters of Great Britain, penning such classics as "Auld Lang Syne" and "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton."
Burns made no secret of his interest in bawdy poetry and song, though most editors of his works have sought to hide this from readers. All later attempts to recover Burns's erotic poetry derive from one printed source, a little book issued just two hundred years ago with the innocent title of The Merry Muses of Caledonia.
Some books are so rare that enthusiasts hunt for them for a lifetime in vain. Only two copies of The Merry Muses are known to survive. The fascinating story of Burns's part in this collection and of how the more complete copy came to the University of South Carolina is told by G. Ross Roy in his narrative accompanying this facsimile. For the first time collectors and libraries can own this rare volume in its original format.
Robert Burns was born on January 25, 1759, in Alloway, Scotland.
George Ross Roy is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.