A hitherto unknown pornographic manuscript of Robert Burns is found in the effects of a dead schoolmaster of impeccable reputation. Max Arbuthnot, an Edinburgh lawyer and a rich man, who at the age of sixty has a rampant appetite for the pleasures of the flesh, takes charge of it. As the manuscript is lost, found again, stolen, and variously shuttles back and forth, the infection of its bawdiness creates havoc in Edinburgh. It's ultimate fate is only decided after a series of bizarre adventures. Part farce, part satire on manners and social attitudes, The Merry Muse sparkles from beginning to end. It is the work of a master, written at the height of his powers.
Eric Linklater (1899-1974) wrote scores of novels for adults and children. He was also a journalist in India, commander of a wartime fortress in the Orkney Islands, and rector of Aberdeen University.