Hugh Blair (1718-1800), Scottish clergyman and professor of rhetoric at Edinburgh University, is known for his Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (2 vols., 1784) and for his five volumes of sermons (1777-1801). A member of the Edinburgh Enlightenment, his circle of friends included Hume, Carlyle, Adam Smith, Ferguson, Kames, and Robertson. He encouraged James Macpherson to publish Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1760) and defended the authenticity of the Ossian poems in A Critical Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian (1763).
(Sources: Oxford Companion to English Literature, 5th ed. and The Blackwell Companion to the Englightenment)
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