• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Burns 'had help with his early work'

ROBERT Burns had a mystery sidekick who edited his early work and aided his meteoric rise to fame, a literature expert has claimed.

Scotland's national bard worked with the ghostly "figure in the margins" to help him choose his best work for print, according to Glasgow University regius professor Nigel Leask, who is a specialist in Burns's work.

Mr Leask has just finished a major study of all Burns' early prose. He discovered notes in the bard's first commonplace book from 1873 signed with the initials WR.

Mr Leask said: "We don't know who WR was - probably a man but it could have been a woman."

He will discuss his ­findings at the inaugural World Congress of Scottish Literatures, which launched at Glasgow University yesterday.

Contextual targeting label: 
Education

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

244772