Bobbie Burns and Highland Mary

A lithographically printed calendar of an imagined romantic encounter, surrounded by vignette scenes from Robert Burns' work.   Robert Burns first met Mary Campbell in Mauchline where she was employed as nursemaid in the home of his friend, Gavin Hamilton. The details of their relationship are uncertain but it is thought that they "pledged their troth" to one another by an exchange of Bibles and that Burns intended that she accompany him to Jamaica.   She died in October 1786 at Greenock, whilst waiting for Burns to complete the arrangements for their emigration. Again the cause of her death is obscure, possibly it was the result of a fever, possibly it was due to the premature birth of Burns' child.   The tragic story of Robert Burns' lost love captured the imagination of his followers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and romantic scenes featuring the poet and "Highland Mary", so called because her family were from Argyle,  were popular at the time. This calendar was printed for a local grocer to be given as a gift to his customers. Most households would have some prints to decorate the walls by the early 20th century.
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Smith and Ritchie Limited, Edinburgh
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width: 440 mm, length: 580 mm
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Dumfries & Galloway Council
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