ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: October 14, 2009
Robert Burns and the Hellish Legion
By (author) John Burnett
Devils, witches and evil – the insubstantial but terrifying world of the supernatural as it was seen by Robert Burns and his contemporaries is examined in this new book, brought out for the 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth. Several of Burns’ poems dealt with the supernatural, the most famous of which, “Tam o Shanter”, is examined in detail. It is from this poem that the book’s title comes: ‘And roars out, “Weel done, Cutty-sark!” And in an instant all was dark And scarcely had he Maggie rallied When out the hellish legion sallied.’ In contrast with the ‘other world’ was the everyday lives of the country people and the nature of the material world in which they lived; the book also examines this and the changes that were taking place in Burns’ time.
John Burnett is Curator in the Department of Scotland and Europe in the National Museum of Scotland, He is the author of several books on the history of sport in Scotland, one of which won the Mechaelis-Jena Ratcliff Prize for Folklore and Folklife Studies in 1999.