'The Gentle Shepherd' fair copy, 1725 [Library reference: MS.15972].
Allan Ramsay's 'The Gentle Shepherd' was a pastoral drama which told the story of Patie, a poor but virtuous shepherd, who falls in love with Peggy, a shepherdess. It was originally published as a play in 1725. Ahead of publication, Ramsay produced a 'fair copy' manuscript as a clean copy of the work. On it he included drawings and decorative letters.
'The Gentle Shepherd' was later converted to a ballad opera, with songs accompanying the various scenes. This led to increased popularity of 'The Gentle Shepherd' and it went on to become Ramsay's best-known work.
View a depiction of a scene from 'The Gentle Shepherd' in the 'Northern Lights' exhibition about the Scottish Enlightenment, and more depictions of the pastoral drama from our 'Illustrating Scottish poems' display.