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MACPHERSON, James (1736--1796)
The poems of Ossian. Translated by James Macpherson, Esq; in two volumes. ... A new edition, carefully corrected, and greatly improved.
London: printed for W. Strahan; and T. Becket, bookseller to their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Bishop of Osnabrugh, 1773.
2 vols ; 20.8 cm. (8º)
I: xiii, [3], 404 p.
II: [8], 435, [1] p.

Purporting to be translations of Gaelic originals, these poems were largely written by Macpherson himself, drawing on Gaelic sources. Macpherson's first 'translation' appeared as Fingal: an ancient epic poem in 1762. This and other works were first collected in two volumes as the third edition of The works of Ossian in 1765. The poems of Ossian soon attracted controversy as well as acclaim in Britain, but were hugely influential in Europe, being a favourite of Napoleon and stimulating the rediscovery or recreation of national folk epics in Germany and Finland. Volume II includes A critical dissertation on the poems of Ossian (pp. [281]--435) by Hugh Blair, an active figure in the Scottish Enlightenment and collaborator of Macpherson, first published separately in 1763. The first two pages of vol. II are advertisements for works published by T. Becket including an announcement for a de luxe edition of the 'Fables de La Fontaine, Printed at Paris, in Four Volumes Folio', presumably the 1755--1759 Desaint & Saillant edition illustrated by Oudry. ESTC n21162.

Copy Notes Bookseller's codes in ink W.e.h on back pastedown of vol. I.

Binding C18th sprinkled sheep, gilt double-ruled spines, red spine-labels.

Reference Number 1385


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