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The Jewel

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The Jewel is set largely during the dramatic years of Jean Armour and Robert Burns's courtship in Mauchline, their married life at Ellisland and in Dumfries, and Robert’s early death, all against a background simmering with political intrigue and turmoil. Jean, a beautiful young woman with the voice of a nightingale, has been inexplicably neglected by biographers and historians ...more
Paperback, 330 pages
Published May 1st 2016 by Saraband
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  53 ratings  ·  7 reviews

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Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-read-2016
If Rab and Jean were alive today and on Facebook, they might list their relationship status as "it's complicated." Robert Burns--probably the most beloved Scottish figure throughout the world, to the point that gallons of whisky and pounds haggis are consumed on Burns Night in honor of his birthday--was quite the naughty boy, as can easily be seen from reading from the poems collected in Bawdy Burns. And he was not a faithful husband. He had illegitimate children both before and during his marri ...more
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book, if a little glossy as it paints Burns as a lovable rogue and "nice guy really" ! I did enjoy it however, though I am not usually attracted to historical novels.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this quite a bit more than expected; I was skeptical about the historical novel approach, but it worked. The story filled in the more day-to-day aspects of Jean Armour's life, both with her husband Robert Burns and before and after him. It stayed true to historical facts of Jean's life, as well as to local dialect and customs of the time, as best I could tell. In short, it gave the details we'd expect of a biography, filling in those unavailable because of the passage of time with life ...more
graham morgan
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

I did not seek out this book, I somehow came across it. A lovely well written book. It opened my eyes to life in those times and the culture and ways of behaving in Ayrshire and in Edinburgh. I don't even like Burns poetry! but he sounded amazing and awful at the same time. Jeany seemed a person you would love to have enough charm to charm. Must go South and see the fields and rivers of that area. Thank you
A lovely book about Jean and Robert (Rab) Burns, told from Jean's POV. I learned a lot about the poet's life that I'd not known, as well as life in general at the time. Definitely a complicated relationship, and a complex and complicated genius of a poet.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A very sweet tale of 'ploughman poet' Robert Burns and his wife Jean Armour. I didn't know much about her at all. Her life wasn't all plain sailing, that's for sure.

Sometimes the language, despite a glossary, was a stumbling block and also a factual error in talk of Nigeria, which didn't exist as a country in the 18th Century.

An enlightening read, overall.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I bought the book after hearing a talk by the author. She mentioned the watch- paper Valentine (I hope 'Anonymous buyer' lets the rest of the world see it sometime) and I became interested in the actual objects and documents the author framed her story around. As she says in the Historical Note to the book, "The casual reader might be surprised by what is documented fact and how little is invention".
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I’m a novelist, historian and experienced professional playwright, living and working in Scotland.

I write warm, intelligent and grown-up stories - some historical, some contemporary and some a mixture of both. I have more than 100 hours of BBC radio drama to my name as well as many professional theatre productions.

My fiction and non-fiction is mainly published by Saraband, and my plays by Nick H
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