Robert Burns And The Hellish Legion
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Tam tint his reason a'thegither,
And roars out, 'Weel done, Cutty-sark!'
And in an instant all was dark!
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.
Folk tales and beliefs are as important a part of cultural history as novels or organised religion. Robert Burns and the Hellish Legion explores some aspects of life in the world in which Burns lived and wrote, the supernatural beliefs which people held, and how they fitted into their everyday lives. It ends with a detailed discussion of 'Tam o'Shanter'.
Burns himself did not believe that the cloven-hoofed Devil appeared in Ayrshire, but he understood that other people did think Satan walked the earth and witches were real, and that these were genuine beliefs which stemmed from the deed to understand the inconsistent world.
This is the world of ordinary men and women who deserve to have their history recorded, whether they were washing clothes in the burn, harvesting corn, or sitting at the fireside, telling the story of a witch pursuing a drunken farmer on a grey horse.
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