This book provides a critical study of the relationship between Robert Burns and the United States of America, c.1786-1866. Though Burns is commonly referred to as Scotland’s “National Poet”, his works were frequently reprinted in New York and Philadelphia; his verse mimicked by an emerging canon of American poets; and his songs appropriated by both abolitionists and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War era. Adopting a transnational, Atlantic Studies perspective that shifts emphasis from Burns as national poet to transnational icon, this book charts the reception, dissemination and cultural memory of Burns and his works in the United States up to 1866.
“It is a great strength of this book that it does not treat the question of reception in a unidirectional way, preferring instead to chart the ways in which Burns both drew from and contributed to the emerging idea of America. Sood’s study does an impressive job of charting the different forms of exchange that connected Burns before and after his death to a country he had never seen at first hand.” (Alex Broadhead, Modern Language Review, Vol. 115 (3), July, 2020)
1st ed. 2018