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Fine Women

Neil Rennie, 6 July 1989

The Pacific since Magellan. Vol. III: Paradise Found and Lost 
by O.H.K. Spate.
Routledge, 410 pp., £40, January 1989, 0 415 02565 6
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Captain Bligh: The Man and his Mutinies 
by Gavin Kennedy.
Duckworth, 321 pp., £14.95, April 1989, 0 7156 2231 5
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The Sublime Savage: James Macpherson and the Poems of Ossian 
by Fiona Stafford.
Edinburgh, 208 pp., £22.50, November 1988, 0 85224 569 6
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... ascribe it to a time too when the Highlanders knew nothing of books, and nothing of six ...’ In Fiona Stafford’s The Sublime Savage, which takes its title from Boswell’s nickname for Macpherson, it is again a question of invention and discovery – of the bygone Highlands as a ‘Golden Age’ or ‘Scottish Paradise’ and also, of course, of The ...

Post-Cullodenism

Robert Crawford, 3 October 1996

The Poems of Ossian and Related Works 
by James Macpherson, edited by Howard Gaskill.
Edinburgh, 573 pp., £16.95, January 1996, 0 7486 0707 2
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... elaborations. Recent Macpherson scholars operating largely outside the Gaelic world, and headed by Fiona Stafford, point out that it was customary for 18th-century translators and literary collectors to add to and embellish their source material. Sadly, though, the best known modern voice in this controversy has been that of Lord Dacre, who has argued ...

Dr Blair, the Leavis of the North

Terence Hawkes: English in Scotland, 18 February 1999

The Scottish Invention of English Literature 
edited by Robert Crawford.
Cambridge, 271 pp., £35, July 1998, 0 521 59038 8
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... him as the spearhead of a crude Scottish ‘cultural imperialism’. But the claim made here by Fiona Stafford that Blair addresses the central questions later put by I.A. Richards in Principles of Literary Criticism with the ‘zealous optimism of a pioneer’ is certainly plausible, and his sense of criticism as an active dialogic process in which ...

Do your homework

David Runciman: What’s Wrong with Theresa May, 16 March 2017

Theresa May: The Enigmatic Prime Minister 
by Rosa Prince.
Biteback, 402 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 1 78590 145 4
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... when she became an MP at the 1997 election. At the same time Cameron fought, and lost, the seat of Stafford, which the Tories had been hoping to hold before Blair blew all such hopes away. By that point May had been married to Philip for close on twenty years. They had no children, something she has since revealed was not a matter of choice. Both her parents ...

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