HE WAS responsible for one of the world’s biggest academic hoaxes but now, after two centuries, the reputation of James Macpherson is to be rehabilitated by Alexander McCall Smith, the bestselling detective writer.In 1762 Macpherson, a Highland schoolteacher, claimed to have discovered the works of Ossian, a third-century Highland bard writing in Gaelic about battles and lost loves. [...]In a documentary for BBC4, McCall Smith, the former Edinburgh University professor of ethics and law, sets out evidence to prove that, rather than being a callous forger hungry for fame, Macpherson was a simple man who failed to understand the impact his tall tales would have. [...]
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