Macpherson, James

(1736-1796)
   Scottish poet who was born into a poor family from Ruthven, Inverness-shire. He collected Gaelic manuscripts and transcribed orally transmitted Gaelic poems, published as Fragments of Ancient Poetry ... Translated from the Gallic or Erse Language (1760). From 1764 to 1766 he worked in some government capacity in West Florida. He grew rich in London defending (as his agent) Mohammed Ali, nabob of Arcot, against the East India Company. He was a member of Parliament for Camelford, Cornwall, from 1780 until he died in Inverness-shire; he is memorialized by a stone in Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. His poetic works are overshadowed by doubts about the authenticity of his Ossian Poems (1762); were they genuine translations from the 3rd-century Gaelic poet Ossian (as he claimed), or the product of his fertile imagination? Samuel Johnson denounced the poems as forgeries and campaigned vigorously against Macpherson. The decision was reached in the late 19th century that there was no hard evidence they were wholly genuine. Some of his other poems: "On the Death of Marshal Keith," "The Highlander," "The Hunter," "The Night-Song of the Bards," "The Songs of the Five Bards, & of the Chief."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2006. English Poetry: Author Search. Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1995 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). Lyra Celtica: An Anthology of Representative Celtic Poetry. E.A. Sharp and J. Matthay, eds. John Grant, 1924. Mark Akenside, James Macpherson, Edward Young. S.H. Clark, ed. Fyfield Books, 1994. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Oxford Companion to English Literature. 6th edition. Margaret Drabble, ed. Oxford University Press, 2000. The Poems of Ossian. Nichol, 1765. University of Delaware Library: Forging a Collection. James Macpherson and the Ossian Poems (http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/exhibits/forgery/ossian.htm).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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  • Macpherson, James — ▪ Scottish poet born October 27, 1736, Ruthven, Inverness, Scotland died February 17, 1796, Belville, Inverness       Scottish poet whose initiation of the Ossianic controversy has obscured his genuine contributions to Gaelic studies.… …   Universalium

  • Macpherson,James — Mac·pher·son (mək fûrʹsən), James. 1736 1796. Scottish poet who claimed to have translated the works of Ossian, a third century Gaelic poet and warrior. Although based on unauthenticated original texts, the translations influenced many writers. * …   Universalium

  • Macpherson, James — ► (1736 96) Poeta y escritor escocés. Autor de Fingal (1762) y Temora (1763), poemas épicos presentados como una traducción de los poemas de un supuesto poeta celta de los ss. II III llamado Ossian, cuando en realidad era obra suya …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • MACPHERSON, JAMES —    a Gaelic scholar, born in Ruthven, Inverness shire; identified with the publication of the poems of Ossian, the originals of which he professed to have discovered in the course of a tour through the Highlands, and about the authenticity of… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • MacPherson, James — (1736? 1796)    Alleged translator of the Ossianic poems, s. of a small farmer at Ruthven, Inverness shire, studied for the Church at Aberdeen and Edin., became teacher of the school in his native parish, and afterwards tutor in a gentleman s… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Macpherson — Macpherson, James …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • James Macpherson — James Macpherson, né le 27 octobre 1736 à Ruthven, mort le 17 février 1796 à Belleville House, est un poète écossais, connu comme le « traducteur » du cycle de poèmes d’Ossian …   Wikipédia en Français

  • James Macpherson — (* 27. Oktober 1736 in Ruthven, Highland; † 17. Februar 1796) war ein schottischer Schriftsteller und Politiker. Leben Macpherson studierte ab 1753 am …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MACPHERSON (J.) — MACPHERSON JAMES (1736 1796) Né dans les Highlands d’Écosse, à Ruthven, James Macpherson fit d’abord ses études à King’s College à Aberdeen, puis partit en 1755 dans l’intention de se préparer aux études pastorales: il y renonça peu après et… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Macpherson — (James) (1736 1796) écrivain écossais. Il publia des poèmes épiques, Fingal (1762) et Temora (1763), qu il donnait comme des traductions des poèmes gaéliques d Ossian, barde écossais du IIIe s …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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