Introduced by Thomas Crawford. First published in 1930 to an unprecedented storm of protest, Catherine Carswell's The Life of Robert Burns remains the standard work on its subject. Carswell deliberately shakes the image of Burns as a romantic hero - exposing the sexual misdemeanours, drinking bouts and waywardness that other, more reverential, biographies choose to overlook. Catherine Carswell's real achievement is to bring alive the personality of a great man: passionate, hard-living, generous, melancholic, morbid and triumphant . . . the very archetype of the supreme creative artist.