A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Bruce, James

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Bruce, James (1730-1794).—Traveller, was b. at the family seat of Kinnaird, Perthshire, and ed. at Harrow. After various travels in Europe he set out in 1768 on his expedition to Abyssinia, and in 1770 reached the source of the Blue Nile. He returned to England in 1774, and in 1790 pub. his Travels in 5 quarto vols. His notorious vanity, the singular adventures he related, and the generally embellished character which he imparted to his narrative excited some degree of scepticism, and he was subjected to a good deal of satire, to which, though much annoyed, he did not reply. It is, however, generally allowed that he had shown great daring, perseverance, and zeal in his explorations, and that he made a real addition to the geographical knowledge of his day.