OSSIAN; [James MACPHERSON, Trans.]. The Poems. Glasgow: Chapman and Lang, 1799.
Two volumes. 24mo. Quarter red calf over marbled boards; spines lettered and ruled in gilt; marbled edges; pp. ix, 100; 234, ; light discolouration to spines; slight rubbing to boards and extremities; light even toning to paper-stock; ownership inscriptions in ink to preliminary pages; final leaf of vol. II with a portion missing; a good set.
Scottish poet James Macpherson popularised the poetry of Ossian, a legendary Gaelic poet. Macpherson claimed that he translated the works of Ossian from ancient manuscripts he discovered hidden away in the Scottlish Highlands, however, there is some controversy over the authenticity of Macpherson's claims. Over time, it has come to be believed that Macpherson's claims were fabricated and heavily embellished, and that perhaps this 'translated' work is not genuine, but rather Macpherson's own creation. Ossian's poetry is filled with epic tales of heroic deds, and illustrates the richness of ancient Scottish history. Though the authenticity of Ossian's poetry remains a topic of debate today, the poems as published by Macpherson have been significant in their shaping of cultural and literary understanding of Scotland at the time.