Scots poet on display – T.S. Law

Thomas Sturdy Law (1916-1997), a committed and powerful poet in the Scots language, was born in Lanarkshire one hundred years ago on Hallowe’en. Our current display in the main hall of our George IV Bridge building in Edinburgh notes the centenary of his birth, drawing on our extensive manuscript and published collections.

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A picturesque marriage proposal

A picturesque scene from Lady Anne Barnard’s 1772 ballad “Auld Robin Gray” is depicted in this hand-coloured mezzotint print (AP.5.213.13). Robin, an older Scotsman, is asking for a young girl’s hand. The girl, Jenny, is sitting at a spinning-wheel and Robin, wearing a kilt and tartan hose, and her mother are standing close-by outside a cottage. While Robin and Jenny’s mother are looking at her […]

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Robert Burns in America

The Library has acquired a collection of individual issues of the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser newspaper from 1787 through to 1788, which probably contain the first examples of Robert Burns’s work in print in the USA! Each issue prints a poem or song by Burns to give American readers a taster of his poetry. […]

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National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day! I’d like to celebrate this event by showcasing how a poem can act as a link between nations, in this case between Scotland and Germany. In 1802, Walter Scott published his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (Bk.5/1.3-4), a collection of “historical and romantic ballads, collected in the southern counties of Scotland”, as the subtitle said. […]

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A European debate

In September 1561, a major debate took place in Poissy, France between the Protestant Théodore de Bèze, whom many reformers had met when they were exiled in Geneva, and the Catholic Cardinal Lorraine, the uncle of Mary Queen of Scots. This debate is now called the Colloquy of Poissy: it was the last major debate between […]

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