Hugh Douglas

d. March 26, 2003


Hugh Douglas, whose biography of Burns, The Tinder Heart, looks at his many love affairs, said that the Church gave the poet problems. He once appeared before the church Kirk for fornication. Fortunately there were moderates who he could get on with. This liberal wing of the Church received his support, while the old style traditional Calvinists felt the weight of his satire. Douglas endorses the view that supportive critics and biographers of Burns have skated over the question of his philandering - he had as many as nine children, many of them illegitimate. The lassies would turn Burns's heart to tinder and he wrote exquisite love poetry about them. Douglas writes, 'surely it can never be said that he is grave in the act of lovemaking and certainly he does not lack conviction. Robert Burns approached sex with gusto, which came from the very soul of the man, and he was always in love with the girl who was his current partner.'

The historian also felt that Burns was so charismatic that he got on with and was accepted by everyone, from the country lads on the farms to the Edinburgh cognoscenti. People accepted him for what he was and loved him for it.


Jacobite Spy Wars
Jacobite Spy Wars : Moles, Rogues and Treachery
By Hugh Douglas
A great read about 18th century intrigues and the spies of the Jacobite rebellions.


Robert Burns: The Tinder Heart

Attitudes to sex have changed since Burns' time, passing through the prim, censorious 19th century, to move slowly towards the more open attitudes of the 21st. In writing about Burns, his women and the influence of love on his poetry, biographers have followed the mores of their own day, rather than his. Consequently, for two centuries his sex life has been denied and glossed over, even though it was the real catalyst for so much of his poetry and songs. In all this the real Robert Burns has been lost. This title aims to explore the life of the real Robert Burns.

The Flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie
The Flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie
By Hugh Douglas and Michael J. Stead
Chronicles the flight of the Pretender after Culloden - complemented by gorgeous photos of the Scottish countryside.