The Canongate Burns (Canongate Classics Book 24) By Robert Burns

This magnificent and authoritative work presents the complete verse of Scotlands National Bard with extensive textual and historical notes (Colm Toibin, The Independent, UK).

Best known for poems such as A Red, Red Rose and Ae Fond Kiss, and for the song Auld Lang Synge, which is sung around the world every New Years Eve, Robert Burns was one of the most important poets of the 18th century. A major influence on the Romantic poetry movement, Burns is still beloved across Scotland, with Burns Night celebrated every January 25th.

This complete volume of the writers poetry and songs includes previously unpublished pieces, draws on extensive scholarship and Burns own letters, and offers supplemental information about his life, early hardships, political beliefs, and literary contexts. An extensive glossary of Scots words is included.

A very fine edition, and the long introduction, which sets out to clear the tangled banks, is alone worth the cover price. The Scotsman, UK The Canongate Burns (Canongate Classics Book 24)


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This is the radical genuine Burns we have been waiting for. Do not accept the bowdlerised tartan Burns which dominates the market. Burns was as revolutionary, sexually and politically, as Blake and Shelley. He was not the ploughman poet patronised by the Edinburgh literati. This edition has a wonderful lengthy introduction arguing energetically for Burns's radical extremist credentials. A bonus is the translation in the margin of difficult Scottish words and extensive annotations to the poems.This is Burns resurrected from the dead, the Burns who was so popular as a worker's poet in the Soviet Union, the Burns whose advanced consciousness and graphic expression can inspire us all. Womens A fantastic book. Full of gems and really interesting. A must read for any Burns enthusiast. Highly recommend! Womens This is a big book.
Wonderfully inclusive, painstakingly edited and researched and once you have this you have all the Robert Burns you need. Womens

Having the scots dialect info along with the poems is a huge help! Womens The Cannongate Burns has been thoroughly debunked as rubbish of the highest order by legitimate Burns scholars both in the US and Scotland. Three of the most predominate scholars of Burns who have disavowed not only the total lack of scholarship in the book but the obvious absolute disregard of research and validation of their facts by both Noble and Hogg are Ross Roy, Professor emeritus at The University of South Carolina and recognized as one of the world's most knowledgeable Burns scholars, Gerard Carruthers, member of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies (member of council); Scottish Catholic Historical Association; Newman Association (Chair of Glasgow Circle); and the Eighteenth Century Scottish Studies Society as well as a lecturing professor of English Studies at the University of Glasgow and Dr. James A. Mackay author of the 1992 Saltire Literary Award winning 'Burns' A biography of Robert Burns which is today recognized as the diffinative Burns biography of the 20th century and who is considered among world's foremost Burns Scholars. I am sorry that readers have been taken in by the trash called the Cannongate Burns but there it is. Shirley Kacmarik Womens One of the reviewers below suggests the general level of critics of this book in apparently not knowing how to spell the name of the press.

The Canongate Burns has many typographical errors and should not be used as the only source one has of Burns's texts. It has, however, admirable notes outlining Burns's political writings of his last years. Several probable new works by Burns have been uncovered by the authors (and they are clearly labeled as works that appeared anonymously or under pseudonyms in newspapers).

In bringing Burns out of the shadows of Holy Willie self righteousness and bardolatry, this edition is much to be commended. James Kinsley (The Oxford Standard authors) is to be preferred as your popular text of the poems, but if you want to know and are truly interested in Burns and the political contexts in which he wrote, the Canongate Burns is an inimitable gloss on Burns as a person and on the ideas behind the poetry. Womens This is an exciting edition which I, as a beginning reader of Burns, find myself picking up again and again. In offering the reader a radical Burns, rather than the folksy popular bard, editors Noble and Hogg bring clarity to the image of the poet, though I sometimes worry that it's a false clarity. Their desire to replace the porchiness of the old image with one of radical potency comes through in a sentence like this, describing Burns's challenge to the conservative pro Hanoverian establishment: They were faced with someone hyper literate, fecundly allusive to a degree far beyond their powers in canonical literary and biblical tradition, who could not only talk their pants off but, it was feared, those of their wives and daughters as well (lii). Burns thereby gets turned into a Jacobinic superhero who had the aristocracy secretly shaking in their boots. This seems like a bit of critical wish fulfillment. Though hardly unknown, Burns did not have the celebrity that Scott would later have.
Perhaps just as problematic, their repeated aligning of Burns with Romantic poets like Wordsworth implies that Burns was a self originating genius. While Noble and Hogg offer a magisterial indictment of Burns's posthumous de politicization which anyone interested in the period should read, they spend far less time commenting on his much obscure 18th century sources. While they discuss the contemporary historical situation of Scotland well, they offer no information at all about dialect verse, a tradition which after all Burns did not invent in that country. Beneath it all seems to be an almost impossible desire to define Burns as a national poet while avoiding anything that might wall him into an ethnic tradition.
Despite these Romantic overtones, Noble and Hogg want to position Burns as part of the radical Enlightenment. And the editors' resuscitation of this legacy restores a sense of excitement not only to Burns, but also to the entire period. It's hard not to relish the combative tone with which they hold up Byron's Jacobinism for comparison, even though it seems facile and perhaps wrong: Was the mine owning self dramatizing aristocrat ever under the cosh in the way Burns was? Is individual nihilism of the Byron, Baudelaire variety the necessary prelude to utopian change? (xci) Their editorial strategies are also innovative; I appreciate the bold decision to append their interpretations after each poem, rather than in the traditional hard to reach, tiny font footnote, or in the old headnote that meekly pretends to frame the ensuing poem. These discussions helped to clarify some of the difficult poems, as well as offering something to contend with. All in all, this is among my favorite editions of a major poet, even though I might question some of its methods. Womens This is an excellent compilation of Burns' work, including many poems that were previously unpublished, unpublished in English language compilations or published under Burns' pseudonyms. The annotations, translations, and commentary are both helpful in understanding and interpreting this evocative and beautiful cornerstone of modern Scottish culture Womens