James Beattie (1735-1803) was a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. He was a popular philosophical opponent of David Hume, and through his famous poem The Minstrel he had a lasting influence on Wordsworth and the Romantics. Beattie lived among the great literati of the time, and his wide correspondence provides a treasure trove of information about his contemporaries. For the past 200 years, our principal access to this material has been William Forbes's two-volume Life and Writings of James Beattie (1806). Useful though Forbes's work has been, it represents only the tip of the iceberg of Beattie's vast correspondence. And because Forbes was guided by his personal friendship with Beattie, he left out many of the most controversial and crucial pieces.