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Burns

Robert Burns

Magic Lantern Slide with Engraving Illustrating "Death and Doctor Hornbrook"

Period:
Late 19th Century
Description:

A black and white transfer printed image of a scene from the poem.

 

The inspiration for this early poem was John Wilson, who was appointed schoolmaster in Tarbolton in 1781. A "hornbook" was a sheet of paper bearing the alphabet, numbers and The Lord's Prayer, mounted on wood and covered by a transparent piece of horn. It was a cheap and reusable teaching aid.

 

Burns wrote this satirical poem after hearing Wilson airing his amateur medical knowledge at a meeting of Tarbolton Masonic Lodge.

 

Before the advent of the cinema, magic lantern shows were popular social gatherings. The grisly scene depicted on this lantern slide of the grim reaper confronting Dr Hornbook was calculated to cause a reaction from the audience.

Materials/Media:
glass
Dimensions:
width: 82 mm, length: 82 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Lantern Slide, PEOPLE, Robert Burns / 49
Digital Number:
DMBN119n
Creation Date:
1880 - 1920
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council