Issue Date: 22/01/2009
Issue Name: 250th Anniversary of Robert Burns Miniature Sheet Cover
Producer: Buckingham Covers
This is the second of our pair of covers commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son. This beautiful cover features the stamps in the Miniature Sheet issued on 22nd January 2009. It is postmarked in Alloway, Scotland, and is available signed by one of the world's most prolific and popular authors, Alexander McCall Smith CBE.
250th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Burns
Robert Burns was born in Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland on 25th January 1759. He was born in a cottage built by his father (now the Burns Cottage Museum) and was the eldest of seven children. His schooling, arranged by his father, started with a local teachye called John Murdoch, and particularly focused on grammer and composition. He grew up in poverty with his main priority to work the family farm. The severe manual labour involved left its mark physically, although he continued labouring throughout his life, whilst developing his writing career.
His fame as a writer came in 1786, aged 27, when his first completed work was published. Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect, included the poem The Twa Dogs, and To a Mouse and was considered to be one of the greatest collections of poems ever written. It seemed popular because it appealed to not only to the educated, but importantly to the common man just like Burns himself.
After his death Burns becam a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. His poem, Auld Land Syne is often sung at Hogmany (New Year) and a festival of his life is commemorated once a year with the traditional Burn's Night celebration. A cultural icon in Scotland, his influence on Scottish literature has been great. Known simply as The Bard, he is widely regarded as the Scottish people's poet, and is still revered woldwide.
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R. Alexander "Sandy" McCall Smith, CBE, FRSE, is a British writer and Emeritus Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh.