Saltire Society to learn about Ossian and Malvina on Arran

Charles Currie will be the guest speaker at the Saltire Society’s next meeting pictured here at Malvina's grave at Drumadoon.

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The Arran branch of the Saltire Society will benefit from a source of local knowledge next week when Charles Currie will be the guest speaker at their meeting.

The talk will cover the subject of historic characters, Ossian and Malvina, and their relationship with Arran.

Charles Currie has an extensive knowledge of Arran, its history, folklore and its people and he is also very knowledgeable about the poems of Ossian, the narrator and purported author of a cycle of epic poems published by the Scottish poet James Macpherson in the eighteenth century.


Macpherson collected word-of-mouth stories in Scottish Gaelic and claimed that the poems he published were translations of the Gaelic originals. Nowadays, it is generally accepted that Macpherson wrote the poems himself.

Ossian was the son of the legendary Irish bard, Fionn mac Cumhaill (Fingal) and the poems themselves, narrated by Ossian, tell the stories, when he is old and blind, of his father Fingal, his dead son Oscar and Oscar’s lover Malvina who looks after Ossian in his old age.

Members and visitors can learn about these fascinating characters and their relationship with Arran on Wednesday February 23, in the Ormidale Pavilion at 7.30pm. All are welcome and entry is free, however, a small donation to the society is always well received.