As the following pages ignore Macpherson altogether, I must briefly state the opinion held of his work by most competent scholars. He undoubtedly had existing in the Highlands in his day, and he worked up many of its themes into his English Ossian, which is, however, almost as much his own composition as " Paradise Lost "is the composition of Milton. He suffered himself to maintain the existence of a Gaelic original which he claimed to have rendered faithfully; one was published many years later, but it is probably a mere retranslation into Gaelic of the English Ossian. For the student whether of Celtic myth and saga, of Celtic archaeology, or of Gaelic style and literary form, Mac Pherson's poems are worthless; they disregard the traditional versions of the legends, they depart from the traditional representation of the material life depicted in the old and genuine texts, and they utterly ignore the traditional conventions of Gaelic style.

 

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Ossian and the Ossianic Literature - A Nutt 1910

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