MacPherson the Historian: History Writing, Empire and Enlightenment in the Works of James MacPherson (Hardcover)
This is the first book-length study of James Macpherson (1736-1796) that considers him as an historian. From his early poetry, to the Ossianic Collections, his prose histories, and his later political writing, Macpherson's subject was the past and he engaged with the latest Enlightenment theories about how to write history.
Macpherson the Historian examines James' published works, from the neoclassical verse of The Highlander (1758) to his pamphlets defending the British imperial state during the late 1770s. In all of these texts, Macpherson wrote as an Enlightenment historian, where ideas about narrative, philosophy, and erudition were interwoven with eighteenth-century debates about the Highlands, commercial modernity, and the British Empire.