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Burns’ influence on working class English writers revealed after the discovery of ‘lost’ works

The influence of Robert Burns saw poets in the north of England verse in Scots, say researchers who have uncovered a host of literary penned by industrial workers in the 19th Century. The team, led by Professor Kirstie Blair of the University of Stirling, has discovered a deluge of poems, songs, and short stories penned by navvies, shipbuilders, railwaymen, factory workers, and miners from Scotland and the north of England, which give unique, first-hand accounts of their lives in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This includes several northern poets with no known affiliation to Scotland, writing in Scots and writing homages to Burns in the Northern dialect. Robert Burns, also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. Professor Blair said: “We identified a high number of industrial workers in Scotland and northern England – both men and women – who were poets, almost all of whom were influenced by Burns. “They were members or founding members of local Burns Clubs, they used their rare holiday time to travel to Ayrshire to pay homage to Burns' birthplace, and some even moved to Ayrshire to find a job to be near ‘Burns Country',” Professor Blair added. “Even if they couldn't afford a cheap copy of his poems, they knew them through song and recitation. Many of the writers we have […]

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