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This report is taken from PN Review 185, Volume 35 Number 3, January - February 2009.

The Wrong Scottish Poet? Frank Kuppner

Since 'Hohenlinden' is undoubtedly one of the finest poems that Thomas Campbell (1777 Glasgow-1844 Boulogne) ever wrote (alas, there are so few of them!), since I was researching Campbell, and since I found myself in Munich, very close to the site of the Battle of Hohenlinden, there came a day when we decided that we really ought to make our way out there.

Firstly, twenty-six stops on the S-Bahn train, to Ebersberg, one of the easterly termini. A good-looking little town, from what I saw of it (even if this included a minor collision between a cyclist and a car). Some fairly formidable central buildings, most of them educational or ecclesiastical, or both. We fluked our way into the main square - and chanced upon a bus-stop graced by a service that allegedly called at Hohenlinden every three hours or so. The project could have fallen apart right there - but, by sheer good luck, one of these magical conveyances was due along in twenty minutes. Suspiciously little, however, seemed to be going on around us - cafés were defiantly unthronged, public buildings were playing dead - and the emergence of so convenient a rescue vehicle seemed more unlikely with every passing moment. Yet, bang on time, a superb new high-tech coach did indeed pull up beside us and in we climbed - along with a bemused-looking old gent who, somewhat worryingly, had silently joined us just after our own arrival at the stop. (Surely he wasn't ...


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