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Whisky & Words: Scottish Exports Get Better with Age

By Harriet Staff

Who says there’s no money in poetry? A first edition of Robert Burns’s poetry sold for £40,000 on Wednesday at an auction in Edinburgh.

Robert Burns’s first collection, Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, was printed in an effort to finance the poet’s emigration from dreary Scotland to balmy Jamaica in 1786.

A spokesperson for the purchaser, an unidentified business organization, describes the purchase as a cultural investment:

“This book is the most important work in Scottish literature. We have bought it not only as an investment for the future, but will make it available to any organisation or person who may wish to see it. I am happy it will be staying in Scotland and in particular it shall remain in our offices in Edinburgh.”

The book, one of twelve remaining originals still owned by private collectors, will be housed at the Edinburgh offices of the purchasing company, with plans to make the collection available to the public in the future.

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Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 by Harriet Staff.