James Macpherson

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Dafydd Moore (University of Plymouth)

James Macpherson (1736-1796) was born at Ruthven in Badenoch, Scotland. Known primarily as the author, editor or forger of The Poems of Ossian, he also had an eventful career in letters and politics. Born into an illegitimate branch of the Macphersons of Cluny (James' father was the illegitimate older brother of the then clan chief Ewan Macpherson of Cluny), Macpherson spent a tumultuous childhood in the Highlands, and may well (though the evidence is not certain) have witnessed some violent events during the final Jacobite rising of 1745 when the Macphersons of Cluny were ‘Out' for the Prince. He was certainly brought up in a Gaeltachd undergoing traumatic change. He was educated first at King's, then Marschal College Aberdeen,…

994 words

Citation: Moore, Dafydd. "James Macpherson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 October 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2869, accessed 07 February 2023.]

2869 James Macpherson 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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