Robert Burns (1759-96) remains Scotland's greatest poet, songwriter and song-collector.
Regarded by Keats and Wordsworth as a morning star of the Romantic Movement in verse, he was also admired by Beethoven and Haydn who set accompaniments for many of his songs.
A farmer turned excise officer, he attracted censure for his outspoken advocacy of electoral and parliamentary reform, yet he died a serving soldier in a Volunteer Regiment during the wars with post-revolutionary France. The Burns Encyclopaedia was first published in 1959 by Maurice Lindsay and this is the fourth edition - the first since 1980.
All aspects of the poet's biography and literary output are covered, as are his correspondents and contemporaries, many of the latter set against the backdrop of Enlightenment Edinburgh. The present edition has been thoroughly revised and updated in the light of contemporary scholarship.
It will be an essential vade mecum for all who are interested in Robert Burns - and in the literary, social and political ambience not just of Scotland but of the UK in the latter decades of the eighteenth century.