THE MERRY MUSE by Eric Linklater


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A comic pother is set in motion by the uncovering of handwritten -- and extremely bawdy -- poems by Robert Burns which, through their erratic travels, produce a Dionysiac infection throughout Edinburgh. Found in the possession of Jessie's dead husband, they are given by her to Max, her brother and not trusted; Max turns them over to the poet Hector who shows them to the librarian; Max' daughter Jane makes off with them, and they are next in Paula's possession and she, as Max' mistress, uses them to bargain with Max -- but the packet turns out not to contain the poems. The librarian has kept them and copies have been made so that everyone in Edinburgh is affected by their lively and improper messages. It's a bubbly bit of many plots, absurdities, art, history, literature, talk, and an attractive reflection of Edinburgh and its atmosphere. Special and spritely.

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 1959
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace