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The Burns Encyclopedia
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Stewart, Anne

Daughter of John Stewart of East Craigs. Alexander Cunningham, Burns's friend, was very much in love with her, but she married instead an Edinburgh surgeon called Forrest Dewar, and in doing so, according to Burns's ridiculous phrase, 'prostituted her character'. Cunningham himself married some four years later, though it has been said, somewhat absurdly, that he never recovered from the blow of Anne Stewart marrying his rival.

Burns referred to Cunningham's attachment for Anne in a letter to Cunningham from Ellisland, dated 27th July 1788, part of which is in verse:

"And is thy Ardour still the same?
And kindled still at Anna?
Others may boast a partial flame,
But thou art a Volcano....
Sweet Anna has an air, a grace,
Divine, magnetic, touching!
She takes, she charms-but who can trace,
The process of BEWITCHING?"

In another letter to Cunningham from Ellisland, dated 24th January 1789, Burns, who had noticed the announcement in the newspaper of Anne's marriage to Dewar, condoled with his friend: '... I am certain that a disappointment in the tender passion must, to you, be a very serious matter... to your scanty tribe of mankind, whose souls bear, on the richest materials, the most elegant impress of the Great Creator, Love enters deeply into their existence, and is entwined with their very thread of life.'

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Robert Burns Store

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Complete Burns Songs

linn recordings of burns Linn Records have completed their landmark recording of all 368 Burns songs, available as individual CDs or a 12 volume presentation box set. We have full details. Click here...


Burns Music & Recordings
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Burns Chess Sets

Burns Chess SetsUnique collectors' pieces based on Burns' life and works. (The ideal gift for your Burns Supper guests!) Click here...

Scotweb Store

ScotwebThe finest Scottish shopping site in the world, with the world's largest choice of kilts and tartans, exclusive jewelry, Highland Dress, Bagpipes and piping supplies, cashmere, and much more. Buying from these sites helps pay for the upkeep of Burns Country! Click here...