Rabbie Burns - irregular life
Posted by Lizard on January 06, 1998 at 04:59:30:
In response to Trying to counteract a totally biased and unjustifiable slander, written by Caroline on January 04, 1998 at 15:24:39
By today's standards, Rabbie was far from a scoundrel, but in his lifetime his name was associated with the names of several women - don't forget, these were the days when a broken engagement was a disgraceful event.
It's always dangerous to ascribe the sentiments which authors put into the mouths of their characters to the author, but in Sanditon the sensible Charlotte states
...I am not poetic enough to separate a Man's Poetry [sic]entirely from his Character; and poor Burns's known Irregularities, greatly interrupt my enjoyment of his Lines. - I have difficulty in depending on the truth of his Feelings as a Lover. I have not faith in the sincerity of the affections of a Man of his Description. He felt & he wrote & he forgot.'
George Tucker in his Jane Austen the Woman, suggests that the words might be similar to those which Jane herself might have used as a 'level-headed realist.
He wasn't a rogue by our standards, but was a bit shaggy round the edges to the newly moralistic early C19. He wrote beautiful songs, poems and ballads which have endured to the present, and so did a much more dissolute character, Lord Byron - but Rabbie DID have a roving eye!
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