Allan Cunningham

A lithographic print made from an earlier soft ground etching of the biographer and editor of Robert Burns.   Allan Cunningham was born at Keir, Dumfriesshire, his father had been a neighbour of Robert Burns when he farmed at Ellisland. In later life Cunningham claimed to remember hearing Burns recite Tam O' Shanter when he was just six years old.   Cunningham worked as a stone mason, but had a love of literature and was a friend of the Scottish writer, James Hogg. He collected traditional ballads and wrote songs, the best known of which is the sea song, "A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea". He went to London in 1810 and gradually established his reputation as a poet and journalist.   In 1834 he brought out, "The Works of Robert Burns, with his Life" in eight volumes. Unfortunately his biography of Burns is flawed, giving a relatively accurate impression of the poet but containing many errors of fact about his life. The artist and engraver of this image was Cunningham's grandnephew, Anthony C M'Bryde, who originally created this portrait in around 1840.
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Anthony C M'Bryde
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width: 78 mm, length: 112 mm
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