Robert Burns toby jug in a blue and white finish produced by A. J. Wilkinson of Burslem, England, circa 1925. Robert Burns (1759-1796) was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is the best known of the poets who wrote in the Scots language. He also wrote in standard English, and in these writings his political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest. He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the greatest Scot by the Scottish public in a vote run by a Scottish television channel.
A. J. Wilkinson