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The Tycoon and the Bard

The Tycoon and the Bard

Andrew Carnegie and Robert Burns

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In The Tycoon and the Bard, well-known Scots actor and Burns expert John Cairney tells the story of how the richest man in the world was inspired by Scotland’s greatest poet.

Cairney concentrates on the life of Scottish American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, arguing that the ideas of the romantic Scottish poet Robert Burns formed a strong influence on Carnegie from his early education to the end of his life.

The Tycoon and the Bard shows the connections between these two great Scots, revealing unexpected aspects of each man’s life and drawing out the chain of influence that Burns’ poetry had on Carnegie’s social beliefs about fortune, fate and fairness.

Title The Tycoon and the Bard
Subtitle Andrew Carnegie and Robert Burns
Author John Cairney
ISBN 9781910021965
Binding Paperback
Author Bio John Cairney BA, MLITT, PHD is a man of many parts, actor, writer, painter and storyteller since beginning as an actor at the age of 17 with the Park Theatre Company in Glasgow in 1947. After National Service with the RAF in Germany he made his return to theatre, training at the College of Drama in Glasgow. In a career that has lasted more than 60 years, he has played Romeo, Hamlet, Macbeth, Cyrano de Bergerac, Robert Louis Stevenson, William McGonagall and Ivor Novello but mainly he is remembered for his solo Robert Burns. This began in 1965 with Tom Wright’s play There Was a Man which he performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and the Arts Theatre, London. The play was televised twice, recorded as an album for REL Records, Edinburgh, and produced as a video for Green Place Productions, Glasgow.

Cairney made many film and television appearances throughout the 1960s and ’70s as well as writing and recording his own songs for EMI at Abbey Road in London. However, his career has since been taken over by Burns with the only a two year break for BBC2’s This Man Craig. The Burns trail brought him a good living, extensive world travel, good friends and his wife Alannah O’Sullivan, the New Zealand actress and writer whom he married in 1980. After nearly 20 years of living in New Zealand the couple are now returned to Scotland.

As well as his books on Burns, Cairney has published 18 other titles, including three volumes of autobiography, two novels, three football books, a book of essays about Glasgow, a book about theatre practice and another about solo performers.

Cairney’s paintings have been exhibited in New Zealand and in Scotland. His Nine Lives of Burns were shown at the Burns Birthplace Museum, Alloway in 2012 and more recently his Stations of the Cross were displayed in Glasgow as part of the Lentfest Festival 2014 and at St Bride’s Church in Bothwell. His most recent project, a series of paintings called The Marian Way, was exhibited in St Patrick’s Church, Glasgow during October 2015. John still finds time for solo appearances and book shows.
Back Cover Text

Andrew Carnegie: self-made Scottish-American steel millionaire and international philanthropist, remembered through trusts, charities and public buildings on both sides of the Atlantic.

Robert Burns: Scotland’s greatest poet and most famous philanderer; an inspiration for future liberal politicians and an almost mythical cultural icon.

What do the world’s greatest tycoon and Scotland’s finest bard have in common? More than you might think.

Despite dying thirty nine years prior to Carnegie’s birth, Burns’ work so inspired the philanthropist that he recited all eleven verses of ‘Man Was Made to Mourn’ at just eight years old. Carnegie’s enthusiasm for the poet was to accompany him throughout his life, as unbeknownst to him parallels between himself and his idol emerged time and again.

Fuelled by ambition, both brilliant Scots went to unusual lengths to better their lives. While Burns travelled the length and breadth of their homeland writing poetry that would endure for generations, Carnegie left Scotland for America to forge his place in the industrial revolution.

The connections between Andrew Carnegie and Robert Burns are unexpected and fascinating, running from their humble beginnings to their enduring legacies. John Cairney

Table of Contents

The Tycoon and The Bard: Andrew Carnegie and Robert Burns 
Humble Beginnings 
Inner Circles 
Homestead Strikes 
Carnegie the Autodidact 
Carnegie on Burns 
A Natural Businessman 
Travel for Carnegie and Burns 
The Rise of Andrew Carnegie 
Married Life 
Andrew Carnegie’s Philanthropy 
Carnegie’s Death and Legacy
A Personal Reflection – John Cairney
Genius Illustrated from Burns – Andrew Carnegie
Address by Andrew Carnegie at the unveiling of a statue to Burns,erected by the citizens of Montrose 1912
Timeline: The Philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie
Select Bibliography 

BIC Subject BGL Biography: literary
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