In 1765, the Scottish poet-historian James MacPherson published a collection of poems in English called 'The Works of Ossian'. MacPherson claimed that he had translated them from an original ancient manuscript that was written in Scots Gaelic. He stated that the manuscript was the work of the blind poet and warrior Ossian, son of Fingal, supposedly a third century Scottish king. The poems have long been regarded as one of Scotland’s most sensational and controversial literary productions. Debates over the authenticity of the poems persisted, but the controversy actually fuelled their popularity and appeal.

Alexander Runciman The Blind Ossian Singing and Accompanying himself on the Harp About 1772