The Sublime Savage: A Study of James Macpherson and the Poems of Ossian

By Fiona J. Stafford | Go to book overview

turned to traditional legends to find the ideal warriors who would embody her essential greatness. His Celtic heroes moved in a remote world, untroubled by realistic details, where invading navies could be repelled easily and battles were merely part of the picturesque romance. Macpherson's Golden Age was a romantic vision of the Highlands, filled with invincible warriors of impeccable character. The step from here to The Poems of Ossian was not very large.


NOTES
1.
Boswell's Life of Johnson, V, 140.
2.
Ibid, 1-2. See also, E. Hanson, "'Johnson's Quest for the Fictions of Romantic Chivalry in Scotland'", Prose Studies, vii ( 2), 1984, 97-128.
3.
T. Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, 1771, ed. L. M. Knapp , ( London 1966), 240.
4.
Cf. Thomson, 'The Castle of Indolence', I, xxx; W. Forbes, James Beattie, 1, 220-21.
5.
A. MacDonald, Ais-Eiridh . . ., vii-viii.
6.
Ibid, v. See also F. Wise on Celtic as the "'Universal language of the post-diluvian world'", Some Enquiries concerning the First Inhabitants, Language, Religion, Learning and Letters of Europe, ( Oxford 1758), 30-31.
7.
See N. Ross (ed), Heroic Poetry from the Book of the Dean of Lismore, ( Edinburgh 1939); W. J. Watson (ed), Scottish Verse from the Book of the Dean of Lismore, ( Edinburgh 1937); T. McLauchlan (ed), The Dean of Lismore's Book, ( Edinburgh 1862); D. S. Thomson, Gaelic Sources.
8.
Report, App. 52.
9.
J. F. Campbell, Leabhar na Féinne. See also D. S. Thomson, "'A Catalogue and Indexes of the Ossianic Ballads in the Maclagan Manuscripts'", SGS, viii, 1958, 177-224.
10.
Scots Magazine, xviii, 1756, 15-17.
11.
D. Mackinnon, "'A Collection of Ossianic Ballads by Jerome Stone'", TGSI, xiv, 1887- 1888, 314-69; Saunders, James Macpherson, 53-6.
12.
Scots Magazine, xviii, 1756, 15-16.
13.
Ibid.
14.
Report, App. 104-05; 116-17.
15.
Ibid, 111.
16.
"'Spectator, No 70'", The Spectator, ed. D. F. Bond, 5 vols, ( Oxford 1965), I, 297.
17.
J. Ramsay, Scotland and Scotsmen 1, 545-46.
18.
Clark to the Highland Society, 1803, ADV MS 73.2.15 f11 (b).
19.
Ibid, 27 July 1806, ADV MS 73.2.76 f43.
20.
Clark was a zealous supporter of Macpherson Ossian and presented the spurious poem 'Mordubh' as a translation from ancient Gaelic in The Works of the Caledonian Bards, ( London 1778). See D. S. Thomson , "'Bogus Gaelic Literature, c. 1750-1820'", TGSG, v, 1958, 172-88.
21.
See note 19.

-75-

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The Sublime Savage: A Study of James Macpherson and the Poems of Ossian
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Illustrations vi
  • Acknowledgements vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • Prologue 1
  • Notes 4
  • Chapter One - Macpherson's Childhood in the Scottish Highlands 6
  • Notes 20
  • Chapter Two - Macpherson at the University of Aberdeen 1752-1755 24
  • Notes 37
  • Chapter Three - Macpherson's Early Poetry 40
  • Notes 58
  • Charter Four the Highlander 61
  • Notes 75
  • Chapter Five - The Death of Oscur 77
  • Notes 94
  • Chapter Six - Fragments of Ancient Poetry 96
  • Notes 111
  • Chapter Seven - The Highland Tours 113
  • Notes 129
  • Chapter Eight - Fingal 133
  • Notes 149
  • Chapter Nine - Macpherson's Vision of Celtic Scotland 151
  • Notes 160
  • Chapter Ten the Response to Ossian 163
  • Notes 178
  • Epilogue 181
  • Surviving Gaelic Manuscripts collected by James Macpherson 184
  • Index 188
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