Hugh Blair, Robert Burns, and the Invention of Scottish Literature

  title={Hugh Blair, Robert Burns, and the Invention of Scottish Literature},
  author={Liam McIlvanney},
  journal={Eighteenth-Century Life},
  pages={25 - 46}
On 4 May 1787, the day before leaving Edinburgh after his eventful fi rst winter in the Scottish capital, Robert Burns wrote to the Reverend Hugh Blair, retired Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres at Edinburgh University, thanking him for “that kindness, that patronage, that friendship” that the older man had shown him.1 The letter is not fulsome. It is fairly short; it has none of the vivid, Shandean banter that enlivens Burns’s letters to more congenial correspondents; and it is one of a… 
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