Special and Named Printed Collections in the National Library of Scotland

OSSIAN COLLECTION

Collected by J. Norman Methven of Perth, and presented in 1941, this collection of 327 volumes is devoted to the Gaelic poetry of Ossian. Beginning with the first editions of Macpherson’s Ossianic compositions Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1760), Fingal (1762), Temora (1763) and The Works of Ossian (1763), the publication of which had been supported, encouraged and financed by the literati of Edinburgh, the Ossianic cult spread throughout Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte being one its devotees. The translations of Ossian into various European languages in the collection reflect the phenomenal popularity of the works. The collection also contains works on the controversy over the authenticity of Ossian, later editions, and the influence of Ossian on European literature of both the Pre-Romantic and Romantic periods

G.F. Black, ‘Macpherson’s Ossian and the Ossianic Controversy, a Contribution towards a Bibliography’, Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 30 (1926), 424-39, 508-24. J.J. Dunn, ‘Macpherson’s Ossian and the Ossianic Controversy: a Supplementary Bibliography’, Bulletin of the New York Public Library, 75 (1971), 465-73.

Shelfmark: Oss.

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