Nan Shepherd: move aside Robert Burns, it’s time to celebrate Scotland’s identity with a woman

Press/Media: Articles in 'The Conversation'


The half-light of these weary January days will soon be lit up by the linguistic thrills of Burns Night. This international celebration of Robert Burns’ timeless poetry will see millions across the world raise a glass to Scotland’s bard on January 25.

Burns is used by Scots as a frame upon which to hang a tremendous amount of weighty national identity. Upon him they place responsibility as the source of their egalitarian spirit, and of their radicalism. Their socialist leanings too, they expect him to inhabit. Their fondness for a good drink is perhaps the easiest burden for his writing to bear.

Period24 Jan 2018

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