Burns biography, 1786-1820

Brown, R. (2022) Burns biography, 1786-1820. In: Carruthers, G. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook to Robert Burns. Oxford University Press. (Accepted for Publication)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


This chapter is the first of three on the development of Robert Burns’s biography, focusing on the poet’s self-fashioning and biographical construction from the publication of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786) to the eighth edition of James Currie’s Life and Works of Burns (1820), which features significant new contributions by Burns’s brother Gilbert. The chapter is structured in three parts. The first analyses Burns’s development of his own poetic persona in the 1786 Preface to the Kilmarnock edition of his poems, and explores key early reviews and responses to his work which help to establish Burns’s early biography. The second section focuses on biographical studies by Maria Riddell and Robert Heron, which appeared shortly after the poet’s death. The third considers James Currie’s correspondence with Burns’s acquaintances, undertaken as the biographer prepared the first posthumous Life and Works of Burns (1800), ending with an analysis of Currie’s popular and influential biography.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Accepted for Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brown, Dr Rhona
Authors: Brown, R.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Publisher:Oxford University Press

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173717Editing Robert Burns for the 21st Century: Correspondence & PoetryGerard CarruthersArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/P004946/1Arts - Scottish Literature