Engraving by Henry Robinson after Alexander Naysmith, 1876-77. Courtesy The Walter Scott Digital Archive, Edinburgh University Library.

Few poets anywhere in the world can have acquired such unchallengeable status as national icons as Robert Burns: even readers who know nothing else about Scottish literature, or about Scotland at all, know that Burns is Scotland's national poet. Given the fact, as it incontrovertibly is, that Scotland in its long history has produced far more than a small country's fair share of gifted poets, the extent to which Burns has, in popular thought, dwarfed or eclipsed virtually all others is remarkable, not to say deplorable — it is no undercutting of his undoubted place as one of the great figures of European poetry to point out that several Scottish poets

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Citation: McClure, J. Derrick. "Robert Burns". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 October 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=659, accessed 19 April 2024.]

659 Robert Burns 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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