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Fri 24 Apr, 2015

Discovering the truth about Jean Armour, aka Mrs Robert Burns


Novelist and award-winning playwright Catherine Czerkawska, whose novel The Curiosity Cabinet was shortlisted for the 2005 Dundee Book Prize, tells us about her quest to find out the real story of Jean Armour, the long-suffering wife of Robert Burns, and the central character in her upcoming novel, The Jewel.

She tells us: “Amid the multitude of evocations of the life and times of Burns, one figure remains somewhat shadowy, under-appreciated, occasionally dismissed completely: his wife, Jean. [My novel tells] her story – from her childhood through her stormy early relationship with the poet (before they were officially married she bore him two sets of twins, of whom only one child survived) to the tragedy of his early death. She was much more than the simple country lass perceived by so many biographers. She was an intelligent and likeable woman, a woman in whom good natural sense vied with a reckless attachment to one man. Above all, she was among the most musical of Rab’s friends and I suspect that her contribution to his song collecting has always been underestimated.”

What the critics are saying:

About The Curiosity Cabinet:

“A powerful story about love and obligation. – John Burnside
“Heart-warming, realistic and page-turning. – Lorraine Kelly

About The Physic Garden:

“A beautifully conceived and executed story. . . it plays with our sympathies. Take any aspect of the novelist’s art and you’ll find it exemplified here to perfection.” – Booksquawk

  • Date: Fri 24 Apr, 2015
  • Time: 3.15pm
  • Venue: Red Lecture Theatre
  • Ticket Price: £6.00
  • Concessions: £3.00
Book Tickets
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