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Book/Printed Material Address to the Unco Guid or the Rigidly Righteous.

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About this Item

Title

  • Address to the Unco Guid or the Rigidly Righteous.

Summary

  • Robert Burns (1759-96) is best known for his poems and songs that reflect Scotland's cultural heritage. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire, Scotland, the first of seven children belonging to William Burnes, a tenant farmer, and his wife Agnes Broun. Burns had little formal education, but he read English literature and absorbed the traditional, largely oral Scots-language folk songs and tales of his rural environment. He began to compose songs in 1774, and published his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, in 1786. The work was a critical success, and its poems in both Scots and English, on a range of topics, established Burns's broad appeal. While building his literary reputation, Burns worked as a farmer, and in 1788 he was appointed an excise officer in Ellisland. He spent the final 12 years of his life collecting and editing traditional Scottish folk songs for collections including The Scots Musical Museum and A Select Collection of Original Scotish [sic] Airs for the Voice. Burns contributed hundreds of Scottish songs to these anthologies, sometimes rewriting traditional lyrics and setting them to new or revised music. Burns sent a copy of Thomas Randall's Christian Benevolence to John Leslie in June 1789, "as a remembrance of his interest in the Case lately before Ayr Presbytery." The "Case" refers to a running dispute between the Reverend William Auld, minister at Mauchline, and Burn's friend Gavin Hamilton, who was charged with unnecesary absences from church. The Presbytery of Ayr and the Synod of Glasgow ultimately found in Hamilton's favor, but the pitting of Auld Licht (conservative) against New Licht (liberal) aroused considerable interest and animosity in the vicinity, giving rise to Burns's great satire "Holy Willie's Prayer." Burns then transcribed the entire text of his poem "An Address to the Unco Guid or the Rigidly Righteous," on the endpapers and blank preliminary pages of the copy. This appears to be the only known manuscript of the poem in the poet's hand. A collation with the first printing of the poem in the 1787 Edinburgh edition shows several minor differences, and one major variant. In stanza seven, where Burns points out that "To step aside is human," the last two lines read "An just as lamely as can ye mark, / How far perhaps they rue it." The manuscript version appears to make better sense with the word "plainly" in lieu of "lamely."

Names

  • Burns, Robert, 1759-1796 Author.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1789-06.

Headings

  • -  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland--Scotland
  • -  1789
  • -  Burns, Robert, 1759-1796
  • -  Dialect Poetry, Scottish
  • -  Sermons, English

Notes

  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource at: University of South Carolina.
  • -  Content in English and Scots.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.

Medium

  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Robert Burns Collection

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667621

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Burns, Robert, Author. Address to the Unco Guid or the Rigidly Righteous. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, -06, 1789] Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/2021667621/.

APA citation style:

Burns, R. (1789) Address to the Unco Guid or the Rigidly Righteous. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, -06] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2021667621/.

MLA citation style:

Burns, Robert, Author. Address to the Unco Guid or the Rigidly Righteous. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, -06, 1789] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2021667621/>.