Eighteenth-Century Scottish Poetry The Scottish Augustans - Essay

The Scottish Augustans

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

A. M. Oliver

SOURCE: "The Scottish Augustans," in Scottish Poetry: A Critical Survey, edited by James Kinsley, Cassell and Company Ltd., 1955, pp. 119-49.

[In the following essay, Oliver discusses eighteenth-century Scottish poetry written in English, faulting its didacticism and conventionality, and praising its original treatment of supernatural themes.]

The eighteenth-century Scots who wrote English verse, but little or no verse in Scots, are described conveniently by the title of this [essay]—conveniently, but inaccurately. In the sense in which Horace or Pope was Augustan, in poise, clear self-knowledge and serene self-esteem, in mastery...

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