The Cotter's Saturday Night by Robert Burns

The Cotter’s Saturday Night by Robert Burns

Arthur Rackham Lends Charm to Robert Burns Poem for Limited Editions

Capitalizing on commercial fads for quality replicas channeling old bookshop glamor, this 1908 deluxe edition of Robert Burns’ popular 18th century poem The Cotter’s Saturday Night relies on Arthur Rackham’s appeal to elevate limited ornate printings. Released by boutique publisher James Hewetson and Son, Rackham contributes a single frontispiece illustration across just 15 pages presenting Burns’ pre-Romantic verse.

The Cotter's Saturday Night by Robert Burns (Rackham cover 1908)

Ring in the Sabbath eve with this creative convergence before the clock strikes midnight!

Buy The Cotter’s Saturday Night

Exquisite 1908 deluxe edition of Robert Burns’ seminal pastoral poem The Cotter’s Saturday Night.

  • Features rare Arthur Rackham frontispiece illustration
  • Faux luxury purple suede and vellum versions available
  • A fascinating Rackham art cameo elevating Scotland’s beloved national bard
  • Essential for fans of poetry, Rackham, Romanticism, or Burns himself

To attract gift-minded buyers, two versions appeared likely concurrently – purple suede boards with gold stamping, and cream faux vellum embellished in green. While the High Street Hampstead publisher lacked resources for more lavish production, they tapped Rackham’s marketability toward aesthetes. This surprising manifestation indicating Rackham’s profitability for even small printers offers intrigue into unprecedented mass popularity fantasy art reached before War reshuffled public imagination.


  • White faux vellum binding with green stamping (15 pages)
  • Purple suede binding with gold lettering (15 pages)

Size: 3 3⁄4 x 6 3⁄4 inches

Series: Little Parchment Library

Text: The Cotter’s Saturday Night by Robert Burns

Illustrations: Frontispiece by Arthur Rackham

Publisher: James Hewetson and Son (London)

Publication Date: 1908

Originally published in 1786 within Scottish poet Robert Burns’ landmark first collection Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, the verse narrative “The Cotter’s Saturday Night” offers a sentimental glimpse into a poor farmer’s weekly respite on the Sabbath eve. Written in Georgian English, Burns channels Enlightenment era pastoral styles to elevate the humanity and noble toil of salt-of-the-earth country peasants.

As the titular cotter (tenant farmer) enjoys music, Bible study, and quiet conviviality alongside family after six days hard field work, Burns movingly profiles endurance and faith sustaining communities generation after generation. He wrote the quasi-idyllic piece shortly after his father’s death in 1784, imbuing undertones of elegy into humble domestic rituals as solace against harsh realities.

In an era witnessing capitalism and urbanization rapidly reshaping agricultural livelihoods, the poem struck a nostalgic chord regarding pre-industrial lifestyles. Arthur Rackham’s frontispiece interpretation introducing this mini 1908 edition nods to enduring affection beyond Burns’ recent memory toward steadfast virtues underpinning civilization before centuries swept away familiar cornerstones.

Robert Burns

With Arthur Rackham’s frontispiece adorning a deluxe edition of his poem “The Cotter’s Saturday Night,” beloved 18th century Scottish bard Robert Burns enjoys elevated reverence indicating his literary influence extending beyond native country into wider Western canon. Now deemed the nation’s unofficial poet laureate, Burns blended English lyricism and accessible Scots dialect across original works and folk song preservation to pioneer Romantic movement ideals in the Enlightenment era.

Revered for verses like “Auld Lang Syne,” his rustic themes extolling pastoral life and nationalist pride catalyzed widespread affinity toward common rural wisdom and heritage. Burns gained particular esteem spreading tradition orally across class strata through championing regional culture while synthesizing lasting high art appreciable by academics and cottagers alike.

As thrones and institutions failed stabilizing society amid the tumults of industrial modernity, Burns’ humble words channeling timeless communal transcendence beyond material bounds offered comforting continuity. Over two centuries since his death in 1796 at 37 years old, Burns retains astonishing admiration at home and abroad as artistic saint stirring imagination toward compassion and understanding bridging divides.

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