January 25, 2009, marks the 250th anniversary of Burns’s birth. It will be a huge event around the world, not least across Canada. And we have the book!
Robert Burns (1759-1796) is part of your life. If you’ve ever given or received a romantic red rose, or talked about a "do or die" situation, or if you’ve sung "Auld Lang Syne," you’re included.
Others celebrate this ploughman poet with an eye for "the lasses" more directly. Every year, literally hundreds of thousands of Canadians, from coast to coast, go to Burns Suppers in January to celebrate his life. This year —2009 — will be the biggest ever, since it’s a 250th celebration of his birth.
CBC TV is joining with the BBC to produce three one-hour programmes on his life, all written and hosted by Andrew O’Hagan, who is now the authority on Burns. This is because this book, published by Canongate in 2008, has already become a classic, bringing Burns to ordinary readers. Because Burns was on the right side of history, against privilege and rank and for everyone getting a fair chance, he is beloved around the world — in Andrew O’Hagan’s words, he is "the world’s greatest and most loveable poet."
From the Hardcover edition.