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Robert Burns

Robert Burns (1759-96) was born into a farming family in Ayrshire, Scotland. The publication in 1786 of his first book, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect, made him famous overnight and saw him fêted by Edinburgh society. But Burns made no money from his writing and quickly fell on hard times, returning to farming in Dumfries, and, when that failed, to work as an Excise officer. He devoted his final years to poetry and the writing of Scottish songs.