06.02.2017 - Gerry Carruthers Talk

 Robert Burns stained glass window

Centred on recently identified documents at the National Records of Scotland, this talk discusses Burns’s place in the Excise Service during revolutionary times. Was the poet a willing government employee or was he a reluctant, neutered individual, deliberately de-barbed by the powers that be? What were the cultural and intellectual contexts afforded to Burns as a civil servant? What kind of relationships did he have with Excise colleagues and how did his career intersect with his creative and family lives? Following the French Revolution and the Excise service enquiry into the poet’s political beliefs, this talk will discuss the nature of Burn’s views and how these were expressed during the turbulent 1790s.



First published: 11 January 2018