Scotland’s greatest love story: Jean Armour and Robert Burns

Posted on May 6, 2016

The Jewel, the new novel by award-winning writer Catherine Czerkawska, brings to glorious life the dramatic years of Jean Armour and Robert Burns’s courtship, and their turbulent, passionate married life.

It is the story of the indomitable woman who inspired so many of the Bard’s poems – but has been inexplicably neglected by Burns biographers and historians.

Meticulously researched and bringing 18th-century Scotland to vivid life, The Jewel, out now, is Book of the Month at Waterstones’ Scottish stores, and Blackwells South Bridge, Edinburgh.

The novel tells of a tempestuous relationship that was both highly romantic and immensely tragic – with the death of six of their children and, of course, the early demise of Rab himself at the age of just 37.

But Jean, a beautiful young woman with the voice of a nightingale, fell deeply in love with the temperamental ploughman-poet at a young age, and their marriage was one of great drama.

How she lived with, and frequently without, Scotland’s most famous son, reveals not only Jean’s strength of spirit, but also much about the life and times of Burns himself.


Catherine will be launching The Jewel at two separate events:

Boswell Book Festival, Dumfries House, Ayrshire, on Sunday 8 May from 1.30pm.

Blackwells South Bridge, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 10 May from 6.30pm. Please register to attend at Eventbrite