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Record 20867

Reading Experience:

'At this time the controversy concerning the pieces published by Mr James Macpherson as translations of [italics] Ossian [end italics], was at its height. Johnson had all along denied their authenticity; and, what was still more provoking to their admirers, maintained they had no merit. The subject having been introduced by Dr Fordyce, Dr Blair, relying on the internal evidence of their antiquity, asked Dr Johnson whether he thought any man of a modern age could have written such poems? Johnson replied, "Yes, Sir, many men, many women, and many children". Dr Johnson did not know that Dr Blair had just published a "Dissertation", not only defending their authenticity, but seriously ranking them with the poems of [italics] Homer [end italics] and [italics] Virgil [end italics].'
Century: 1850-1899
Date: Until: 24 May 1763
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Samuel Johnson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 18 Sep 1709
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: writer
Religion: Anglican
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: James Macpherson
Title: Fragments of Ancient Poetry collected in the Highlands of Scotland
Genre: Poetry
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 20867  
Source - Print  
  Author: James Boswell
  Editor: R.W. Chapman
  Title: Life of Johnson
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1980
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 280
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 280,, accessed: 01 February 2023

Additional comments:

Originally published 1791.



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)