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James Macpherson

(b. Oct. 27, 1736, Ruthven,Inverness-shire, Scotland – d. Feb. 17, 1796, Belville, Inverness-shire, Scotland )

Gender: M

James Macpherson (1736-1796) published in 1760 Fragments of Ancient Poetry and then Works of Ossian, 2 vols. (1765) became a literary sensation throughout Europe. He used Gaelic ballads in manuscript and from oral sources to inspire his themes and plots but claimed his poetry to be the authentic translations of an ancient bard. Some, like Elizabeth Montagu, believed or simply enjoyed the illusion that the fragments were genuine whilst others, such as Dr Johnson, questioned the standards of his scholarship.

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  • James Macpherson


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