James Macpherson

The works of Ossian, the son of Fingal

Pocket-size editions of fashionable texts such as the works of Ossian were published to cater for the growing fashion among travellers for reading their favourite authors in situ. Some, like Sarah Murray, the enthusiastic author of a best-selling tour of Scotland, not only used quotations from the poems in her landscape descriptions, but also tried to emulate their heroes: in Ardtorinish, she “was a stranger in Fingal’s land; and, to do honour to it, did as Fingal and his heroes were wont to do, drank whiskey from a clam-shell”.