How an 18th Century hoax is relevant to Scottish Independence

North Country Public Radio blogger Brian Mann asks, "Is fight for Scottish independence based on a literary hoax?" He concedes that if Scotland does decide for independence, there will be "many causes, many inspirations." But he notes that Scottish cultural nationalism first got a big push back in the 18th Century when James Macpherson published his Ossian poems, claiming they were a translation of epic poems written by an ancient Scottish bard. The poems gave Scots a sense of pride in having a great cultural heritage. But the truth was that Macpherson had mostly written the poems himself. (Which, in itself, was an impressive achievement, although much of the appeal of the poems lay in the idea that they were ancient).


Posted on Mon Sep 15, 2014


Note that that's cultural nationalism. Political nationalism had been going on for a bit longer than that, what with William "Gromit" Wallace and Robert the Burke & Hare and all that.
Posted by Richard Bos  on  Thu Sep 18, 2014  at  02:23 AM
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