James Macpherson

(27 October 1736 - 17 February 1796)
James Macpherson (1736-1796)

© National Portrait Gallery, London

James Macpherson (1736-1796)

Works in ECPA

alphabetical listing / listing in source editions

Source editions

  • Macpherson, James, 1736-1796 Fragments of ancient poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and translated from the Galic or Erse language. Edinburgh: printed for G. Hamilton and J. Balfour, 1760. 70p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T83707; OTA K068251.000)
  • Macpherson, James, 1736-1796 Fingal: an ancient epic poem, in six books: together with several other poems, composed by Ossian the son of Fingal. Translated from the Galic language, by James Macpherson. London: printed for T. Becket and P. A. de Hondt, 1762. [16],xvi,270,[2]p.; 4⁰. (ESTC T132461; OTA K105084.000)


DMI 1863; ODNB 17728


  • Smith, Margaret M. Index of English Literary Manuscripts. Vol. III, 1700-1800 . London: Mansell, 1986-1997. Pt. 2 Gay-Philips. 179-184. Print. 4 volumes.


  • Barr, Rebecca and Justin Tonra, eds. Ossian Online. English, School of Humanities, NUI Galway, 2015. Web. 16 Apr. 2018. http://ossianonline.org/
  • Gaskill, Howard, ed. The Poems of Ossian and Related Works. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1996. Print.


  • DeGategno, Paul J. James Macpherson. Boston: Twayne, 1989. Print.
  • Stafford, Fiona. The Sublime Savage: A Study of James Macpherson and the Poems of Ossian. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1988. Print.

Reference works

  • Baines, Paul, Julian Ferraro, Pat Rogers, eds. The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Eighteenth-Century Writers and Writing, 1660-1789. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 227-228. Print.


  • Bär, Gerald and Howard Gaskill, eds. Ossian and national epic. New York; Frankfurt: Lang, 2012. Print.
  • Crawford, Robert, ed. The Scottish invention of English literature. Cambridge; New York: CUP, 1998. Print.
  • Fitzgerald, Robert. The Style of Ossian. Studies in Romanticism 6 (1966): 22-33. Print.
  • Gaskill, Howard, ed. Ossian Revisited. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1991. Print.
  • Gaskill, Howard, ed. Versions of Ossian: Receptions, Responses, Translations [Special Issue]. Translation and Literature 22(3) (Nov 2013): 293-440. Print.
  • Gaskill, Howard, ed. The reception of 'Ossian' in Europe. London; New York: Continuum, 2004. Print.
  • Groom, Nick. Celts, Goths, and the Nature of the Literary Source. Ribeiro, Alvaro, SJ, and James G. Basker, eds. Tradition in Transition: Women Writers, Marginal Texts, and the Eighteenth-Century Canon. Oxford: OUP, 1996. 275-296. Print.
  • Kersey, Mel. Politeness, Macpherson and Anglicisation. Brown, Michael, and Stephen H. Harrison, eds. The Medieval World and the Modern Mind. Dublin and Portland: Four Courts Press, 2000. 127-141. Print.
  • Mac Craith, Mícheál. Wrestling with the form: the genesis of Macpherson's Fragments. Procházka, Martin and Ondrej Pilný, eds. Time refigured: myths, foundation texts and imagined communities..Prague: Litteraria Pragensia Books, 2005. 344-365. Print.
  • Mac Craith, Mícheál. Fingal: eipic thosaigh James Macpherson. Eighteenth-Century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr 12 (1997): 77-86. Print.
  • Mitchell, Sebastian, ed. Ossian in the Twenty-First Century [Special Issue]. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 39(2) (June 2016): 159-250. Print.
  • Moore, Dafydd, ed. The International Companion to James Macpherson and The Poems of Ossian. Glasgow, Scotland: Scottish Literature International, 2017. Print.
  • Moore, Dafydd, ed. Ossian and Ossianism. London; New York: Routledge, 2004. Print. 4 volumes.
  • Moore, Dafydd. Enlightenment and romance in James Macpherson's The Poems of Ossian: myth, genre and cultural change. Aldershot; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003. Print.
  • Moore, Dafydd. Heroic Incoherence in James Macpherson's The Poems of Ossian. Eighteenth-Century Studies 34 (2000): 43-59. Print.
  • Mulholland, James. James Macpherson's Ossian poems: oral traditions, and the invention of voice. Oral Tradition 24(2) (2009): 393-414. Print.
  • Radcliffe, David Hill. Ossian and the genres of culture. Studies in Romanticism 31(2) (1992): 213-232. Print.
  • Schmidt, Wolf Gerhard and Howard Gaskill, eds. 'Homer des Nordens' und 'Mutter der Romantik': James Macphersons Ossian und seine Rezeption in der deutschsprachigen Literatur. Berlin; New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 2003. Print.
  • Stafford, Fiona. Primitivism and the "Primitive" Poet: A Cultural Context for Macpherson's Ossian. Brown, Terence, ed. Celticism. Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1996. 79-87. Print.
  • Stafford, Fiona, and Howard Gaskill, eds. From Gaelic to Romantic: Ossianic Translations. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1988. Print.
  • Thomson, Derick S. The Gaelic Sources of Macpherson's Ossian. Edinburgh: Published for the University of Aberdeen, 1952. Print.
  • Trevor-Roper, Hugh. The invention of Scotland: myth and history. New Haven, CT; London: Yale UP, 2008. Print.
  • Wickman, Matthew. The allure of the improbable: Fingal, and the testimony of the 'echoing heath'. PMLA: publications of the Modern Language Association of America 115(2) (2000): 181-194. Print.
  • Williams, Vivien Estelle. The Bagpipe and Romanticism: Perceptions of Ossianic “Northernness”. European Romantic Review 27(4) (Aug. 2016): 459-473. Print.