Books: The Bawdy Scot

THE MERRY MUSES OF CALEDONIA by Robert Burns, edited by James Barke, Sydney Goodsir Smith, J. Delancey Ferguson. 224 pages. Putnam. $5.

The literary underworld abounds with stories about great writers who were also great pornographers. Mark Twain amused himself and friends with outhouse humor; so did Benjamin Franklin. Passages of Swift are brutally obscene. Byron and Swinburne both dipped their pens in blue ink, while even Thackeray could line out a lickerish limerick. Perhaps the most famous respectable smutmaster is Robert Burns, whose collection of bawdy Scottish verse has been circulating in more or less clandestine versions for more...

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