Both governments and community organizations promote Robert Burns suppers. Here, an official United Kingdom government photo shows the haggis brought in at the British Prime Minister’s residence, Jan. 22, 2018.
Both Burns and the suppers that celebrate him have proven remarkably malleable symbols worldwide of the Scottish nation and Scottish hospitality.
Different and contradictory versions of the poet have existed since the first literary tourists went looking for his legacy.
Africa Studio via Shutterstock
Memoirs of the morning after: because literature tells us the hangover is about so much more than physical symptoms.
Bannockburn’s Battle Room.
Want to travel to 1314 and see Robert the Bruce slaying an English knight? Why step this way, madam.
Protesting in Berlin.
Not the sort of amount you’d want to lose down the back of the sofa.
The politics may have changed over the years, but the literary obsessions of ‘northern Britain’ seem hard to shake.
Nan Shepherd on the RBS £5 note.
Scotland’s literary culture is dominated by a male perspective. So as Burns Night approaches, it’s time to give prominence to a female voice – written in both English and Scots.
Years before anyone conceived celebrity, the Scottish bard may have been the first to turn himself into a brand.
Scotland’s flawed genius, Robert Burns.
Poetry has a long history of depicting violent sexual behaviour against women.
Happy birthday, RDM.
Robert Duncan Milne made HG Wells struggle to keep up.
Castles in the air?
Are Edinburgh Castle et al really acing their English equivalents?
Dundee’s Burns memorial.
Scotland’s national poet was seen as having the potential to stir up revolutionary sentiment in the 19th century.
Alexander Nasmyth’s Robert Burns, 1828.
After the Scottish bard mixed with Edinburgh high society, he started dabbling with Beethoven.
Why Scotland should raise a glass to a certain Brummie Bill.
All together now …
The great Scottish ode to the passing years may never have become a global hit had an Edinburgh lothario not changed the recipe.
Mandarin icing next year?
As long as the history of English literature is taught in universities, the charm of the immortal poem “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns will endure in China. I first came across the poem by the national…
Romantic notions of Burns as a lovable man of the people are a little rich.
Robert Burns may have lost some of the nationalist charge behind his popularity since Scotland voted No in last year’s referendum. But the celebrated poet continues to be fêted internationally during annual…
“If Scotland votes yes, it’ll be the end of the Hogwarts Express!”
Barely a day goes by when there’s not another famous face giving a nod or a headshake to independence. Most recently Daniel Radcliffe and veteran Scottish comic actor Stanley Baxter have both said no…