Left: James Currie. Right: a portrait of Burns by Archibald Skirving, published in The Works of Robert Burns, by Blackie and Son, Glasgow, 1854.
Date : 25-05-1804
Correspondent : Cadell & DaviesCorrespondent Location : London
Recipient : James Currie Recipient Location : Liverpool
Subject : The publishers write about Chalmers’ revision of his sketch of Burns’s life in the light of Currie’s criticisms.

Dear Sir –
     Mr Chalmers, on our stating to him your Objections, and Mr Roscoe’s to many of the Passages in his Sketch of Burns’s Life, as he had originally written it, very readily agreed to new-model them, and was a good deal hurt at being thought to intend to lessen Burns’s Merit as a Man or a Poet –
     He has now sent us a Proof, in its altered Form, for the purpose of forwarding it to you, and says he will, with Pleasure, again adopt any Alterations that you may suggest –
     Mr Roscoe has led us to look forward to the Pleasure of seeing you here, e’er long – that the Journey may have the most beneficial Effect towards the Recovery and perfect Reestablishment of your Health, is the sincere and earnest Wish of dear Sir,

Your obliged and faithful Servants,

Cadell & Davies


Notes :

Chalmers: Alexander Chalmers (1759-1834). Prolific Scottish literary critic, whose ‘sketch’ of the life of Burns was ‘prefixed’ by Cadell & Davies to the 1804 edition of Burns.

Roscoe: William Roscoe (1753-1831). Literary scholar, writer, historian, botanist and politician. A prominent member of the Unitarian community in Liverpool, Roscoe, like Dugald Stewart, was another early candidate for providing the life and edition of Burns prior to its undertaking by Currie.

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