Ossian: Past Present and Future

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2016 is the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the landmark edition of the Poems of Ossian edited by Howard Gaskill with a notable introduction by Fiona Stafford. The purpose of the forum issue is to celebrate the anniversary of the collection and to acknowledge the exceptional contribution to modern Ossianic studies of Dr Gaskill and Professor Stafford. The introductory essay considers the development of Ossian criticism from the late twentieth century onwards, against the backdrop of shifting political, cultural, and critical trends. The essay provides an overview of the seven contributions to the special issue; it offers an assessment of the state of modern Ossian and studies, an indication of how scholarship and criticism of the bard may develop in the short to medium term.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

This is a 7,400 word introductory essay to a set of seven articles, constituting a special issue of the journal on Ossian. I am the sole editor of the issue.


  • eighteenth-century literature and culture
  • Ossianic scholarship
  • primitivism
  • Ossian


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