This article considers Allan Ramsay's reception in Scottish and English newspapers, magazines and literary periodicals in the one hundred and fifty years following his earliest, career-setting publications and the first volume of his poems, published in 1721. It analyses his literary afterlives in two sections: 1) 1720-1800, in which commentators and reviewers give immediate responses to Ramsay's life and works and in which his reception diversifies with the prominence, later in the century, of Robert Fergusson and Robert Burns; and 2) 1800–1870, a period in which the reading public, the literary marketplace and its contexts are undergoing rapid evolution. The article argues that Ramsay's role as a wellspring of Scots vernacular poetry is influential on the reception of Fergusson and Burns, but also that the prominence, particularly of Burns, in turn affects Ramsay's reception as the eighteenth century moves into the nineteenth. It reads Ramsay through reviews, anecdotes and polemical pieces, demonstrating that Ramsay not only influenced the course of Scots vernacular poetry throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but also the priorities and preferences of those who were responsible for constructing the canon of Scottish literature in the period.


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pp. 95-115
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