James Macpherson

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Macpherson, James


Born Oct. 27, 1736, in Ruthven, Inverness; died Feb. 17, 1796, in Belville, Inverness. Scottish writer.

Macpherson was the son of a farmer. He studied at the University of Edinburgh. In 1760 he edited and anonymously published Fragments of Ancient Poetry Collected in the Highlands of Scotland and Translated From the Gaelic or Erse Language. Encouraged by the success of this publication, Macpherson published two heroic epics, Fingal (1762) and Temora (1763), later combining them with the Fragments into The Works of Ossian, the Son of Fingal, Translated From the Gaelic Language by James Macpherson (1765; partial Russian translation, 1788). A foreword to this edition claims that the author of the Scottish epic poems was the legendary Ossian (third century).

Samuel Johnson soon questioned the authenticity of the Ossianic poems. After Macpherson’s death, his literary hoax was conclusively established. The narrative poems of Macpherson bear the traits of preromanticism, which made them popular with his contemporaries and with European readers of the early 19th century.


Ossian, vols. 1-3. [Published by O. L. Jiriczek.] Heidelberg, 1940.


Balobanova, E. V. [“Issledovanie, perevod i primechaniia.”]
In J. Macpherson, Poemy Ossiana. St. Petersburg, 1890.
Maslov, V. I. Ossian v Rossii: Bibliografiia. Leningrad, 1928. Saunders, T. B. The Life and Letters of J. Macpherson. London, 1894.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
In a lonely Highland village more than a hundred and fifty years ago there lived a little boy called James Macpherson. His father and mother were poor farmer people, and James ran about barefooted and wild among the hills and glens.
By this time James Macpherson had begun to write poetry.
James MacPherson who used to live behind the graveyard."
"James Macpherson is just one of hundreds of stories that has came out of the town."
In the National Division, James MacPherson's last minute strike gave Glen Urquhart a 3-3 home draw with fellow promotion chasers Skye, who had been two up at half time through James Pringle and Ross Gordon.
James MacPherson's last-minute goal earned Glenurquhart a 3-3 draw with Skye Camanachd in the Mowi National Division.
Ian Rankin's In a House of Lies (9781549115653, $35.00) is narrated by James MacPherson and tells of a missing private investigator whose body is found in the woods in an area that was already searched.
That's for openers in Ian Rankin's 24th Rebus novel, In a House of Lies (Hachette Audio, 14 hours), performed by James Macpherson in an authentic Scottish burr that's still soft enough to be easily understood.
The material forms a backdrop to James MacPherson's romantic poems of Ossian, to connect with Scotland's continuing traditions of song, music and story.
A Jasper Carrot B Robert Carlyle C Robert Powell D James Macpherson 9.
The International Companion to James Macpherson and The Poems of Ossian.
James Macpherson, a structural engineer with VHB's Bedford office, recently spent a week stationed in Hato Rincon, a remote mountain community in western Panama that is home to the indigenous Ngobe-Bugle people, as part of a program led by Engineers Without Borders, or EWB.