On this day: October 27

Scottish poet James Macpherson. Engraving by J K Sherwin after painting by Joshua Reynolds. Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Scottish poet James Macpherson. Engraving by J K Sherwin after painting by Joshua Reynolds. Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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1736

James MacPherson the Scottish poet was born.

Author of The Works of Ossian, Fingal and Temora, he gained international fame through his translations of early Gaelic poems.

However, although they caused a sensation in both Britain and Europe, where they were credited with influencing the European Romantic movement,

MacPherson was also charged with composing the works himself.

This accusation gave rise to the so-called, “Ossian controversy”.

The true story behind the poems has never been resolved.

The poet died in 1796.