The national poet of Scotland and major figure of the country’s period of Enlightenment, Robert “Rabbie” Burns, was born on this day in 1759.
Born on an Ayrshire farm, the young Burns found the hard work damaging to his health. He broke up the drudgery by writing poetry and carrying out affairs. So, so many affairs.
After the publication and success of his first book of poetry, he moved to the nation’s capital and became an important influence on the early Romantic movement, as well as fame for being a rebel against religious doctrine, and of course for being a notorious drinker and womaniser. He died at the age of 37 when he fell asleep drunk in a ditch and subsequently contracted rheumatic fever. His last illegitimate son was born on the same day he was buried.
An early British “Talkie” was 1930’s The Loves of Robert Burns, a musical biography of his affairs.
It wasn’t well received, with the New York Times noting that it “was so unsatisfactory to the London public that it was withdrawn at the end of one week’s trial at a central cinema, although it had been largely advertised in advance.”
Have a great day, everyone!