Saturday, 30 January 2010

Burns at Broughton house

Thursday 21 January 2010

With the help of James Cameron Ewing, Editor of the Burns Chronicle and also Head of Special Collections at the Mitchell Library in the 1930s, the Kirkcudbright artist Edward Atkinson Hornel built up one of the finest collections in the world of printed works by, or about, Robert Burns. As part of a drive to increase awareness of Hornel’s magnificent Burns Collection in Broughton House, a National Trust for Scotland property in Kirkcudbright, I have organised an annual ‘Evening with Burns’ for the last three years.
At this year's event well-known Burnsian Chris Rollie linked the history of Mary Queens of Scots to her brief time in the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and gave a wonderful recitation of Burns’ poem Lament of Mary Queen of Scots. He also gave an ebullient rendition of The Holy Fair following a fascinating short talk about his recently published book entitled Burns in England. As Professor David Purdie says in the forward to the book, “Chris Rollie has added a further and much needed chapter which broadens and deepens our understanding of Burns…”

Through the wonderful singing by John Caskie and Holly Little, winner of the National Schools Singing Competition in 2008 (pictured above), I was able to highlight the famous James Johnson and George Thomson song collections which are in the Library, one with a note in Burns' own hand, inscribed to lovely Polly Stewart.

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