James Beattie was born in 1735 at Laurencekirk in the north east of Scotland. The son of a farmer, he became professor of moral philosophy at Aberdeen University and was a strong opponent of slavery. He is also regarded as a strong influence on William Wordsworth.
The ‘Grotesquiad’, Beattie's poem in four volumes, is gaining increased recognition among literary scholars. Dr Brown, of the University of Glasgow, said the discovery was an “important milestone” in studies of 18th century Scottish literature.
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