Gaelic Literature of the Isle of Skye: an annotated  bibliography   

 

Traditional poetry and song:  collectors and collections

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MORISON, Alexander (18th / early 19th Century)

 

When the Highland Society’s committee were conducting their inquiry into the poems of Ossian, Captain Alexander Morison of Skye and Greenock was about eighty-five years old and died before their report was written.  Even though the committee noted that his age could account for his forgetting minute details, they

were impressed by the ardour and vigour of his mind (Highland Society of Scotland 1805: 44-45).  In the report’s Appendix, Captain Morison affirms that before leaving Skye he had from his earliest recollection heard and learnt many Ossianic and heroic poems and songs, many of which were afterwards collected, arranged and translated by James MacPherson (op cit., pp. 175-178).  His versions of two addresses to the Sun are also mentioned in the report’s Appendix (op. cit., p. 186).  J. F. Campbell evidently did not believe that either of

the two addresses, which occur at the beginning of ‘Carrickthura’ and in ‘Garthon’ to be genuinely ancient compositions.  He points out that the verbatim agreement of all the numerous copies of the former indicate a common manuscript origin, and expresses the opinion that the Gaelic of the latter is a translation from English (Campbell 1872: 215-216).  Derick Thomson believes that the evidence seems to point to Captain Morison himself having been the author of these two poems (Thomson 1958: 186-187),

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i        Dearg Mac Deirg gur mise bhean’.  See individual entry for ‘Laoidh Dhiarmaid’.

 

ii      Tòir air na Tuathaich’.  Leabhar na Feinne.  Vol.1. Edited by J. F. Campbell.  London: Spottiswoode and Co., 1872, pp. 212-213.

 

A ballad of eleven four-line stanzas.  J. F. Campbell notes that it looks like an original Gaelic composition and that apparently it was got from Captain Morison, “one of MacPherson’s assistants”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Abbreviations 

 

Traditional: known authorship

A-C       D-Domhnall       Domhnallach-Dz        E–G       H–L       M–MacA       MacB–MacC        MacD        MacE-MacK,  MacLa-MacLeod        MacLeòid A-H        MacLeòid I-Z        MacM-MacN       MacO-MacZ      M      N      O-Q      R-Z

 

Traditional: anonymous

A-B      C-D      E-K      L-N       O       P-Z     

 

Traditional: collections

Annie Arnott       An Cabairneach        Carmina Gadelica        Catriona Dhùghlas        Tormod Domhnallach                  Marjory Kennedy-Fraser         Angus Lamont        K. N. MacDonald         Johan MacInnes          Hugh MacKinnon          Calum I. MacLean         Sorley MacLean        Kenneth MacLeod         Niall MacLeòid        Màiri Nighean Alasdair

Cairistiona Mhàrtainn         Alexander Morison          Kenneth Morrison         Angus Nicolson          Portree HS Magazine   Lachlann Robertson         Frances Tolmie I          Frances Tolmie II

 

Modern

Somhairle MacGill-Eain         The New Poetry

 

References

Books etc: A-L         Books etc: MacA-MacL         Books etc: MacM-Z   Periodicals, MSS, AV

 

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