restricted access The First Irish Edition of Robert Burns: A Reexamination
Abstract

Abstract:

All the major Burns bibliographies give separate entries for Burns editions published in Belfast and Dublin in 1787, but most of the bibliographers have also commented that both Belfast and Dublin copies appear to be from the same typesetting. This note reexamines the evidence on this question, both from bibliographical make-up and from the distinctive imported French paper used in all copies, confirming that there was only one Irish edition in 1787, marketed from the beginning in both the north and south, though all the copies were printed in Belfast by James Magee. It was Magee’s shop that printed, not only the sheets, but the variant title-page, for the copies issued with the imprint of William Gilbert of Dublin. A brief conclusion discusses possible reasons for scholarly reluctance to recognise the bibliographical identity of the two issues.


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