Robert Burns and Jean Armour lived at the farm at Ellisland between 1788 and 1791. When Burns took the farm on there was no farmhouse to live in so Jean Armour remained at Mauchline until Burns and created a suitable dwelling place. Burns is said to have worked hard at the farm but the soil was in poor condition and he struggled to make it profitable.    This is 1 of 12 etchings by George Houston which form a series entitled Burns Country. The series depicts different sites around Ayrshire with which Burns was associated at various stages in his life. The series was published in May 1915 and was accompanied by text written by Houston's friend Neil Munro.   Munro wrote the following text to accompany this print:   One golden year at least the poet spent in Ellisland, the farm he took on the banks of Nith, about six miles from Dumfries, and opposite the noble woods and gardens of Dalswinton. He was accustomed to say, himself, that the happiest period of his life was the first winter there with his wife and children. Part of the present steading was built by Burns, who was to prove by the unsuccess of his tenancy that a poet’s eye and not a farmer’s had dictated his choice of Ellisland, though he left it with a heavy heart.
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George Houston
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172 x 246mm
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The Artist
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