On this day 1786: Robert Burns publishes first poems
The Kilmarnock Edition, was published on July 31 1786.
Referred to occasionally as the Poems Chiefly, 612 copies were made, selling at three shillings a copy.
Listed in the collection was a number of well-known works by Burns that led him to fame. ‘To a Mouse’, ‘Halloween’ and ‘The Twa Dogs’ were amongst the Kilmarnock edition.
The popularity of the poems led to the entire print run selling out, and reshaped the future of Rabbie Burns.
The entire print run sold out within a month which led to the Bard of Ayrshire rethinking his plans to emigrate and led to him instead to move to Edinburgh to try to forge a literary career.
The rare works by Burns still exist today. Manuscripts and rare editions are held throughout East Ayrshire’s venues dedicated to Burns.