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About the Author: James Hogg

James Hogg was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in Scots and English. As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many of the great writers of his day, including Sir Walter Scott, of whom he later wrote an unauthorized biography. He became widely known as the "Ettrick Shepherd", a nickname under which some of his works were published, and the character name he was given in the widely read series Noctes Ambrosianae, published in Blackwood's Magazine. He is best known today for his novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner. His other works include the long poem The Queen's Wake, his collection of songs Jacobite Reliques, and the novels The Three Perils of Man, The Three Perils of Woman, and The Brownie of Bodsbeck.


The Private Memoirs & Confessions of a Justified Sinner Cover Image

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Paperback, Published in Aug 1997 by Wordsworth Classics

ISBN10: 1853261882 | ISBN13: 9781853261886

Page count: 193

James Hogg's most ambitious prose work. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, is now widely acclaimed as his masterpiece. In the early years of the 18th century, Scotland is torn by religious and political strife. Hogg's sinner, justified by his Calvinist conviction that his own salvation is pre-ordained, is suspected of involvement in a series of bizarre and hideous crimes. A century later his memoirs reveal the extraordinary, macabre truth. The tale is chilling for its astute psychological accuracy as it illustrates, with power and economy, the dire effect of self-righteous bigotry on a fanatical character.

In the first half of his new introduction David Blair provides a detailed explanation of the historical and religious contexts of Hogg's novel. In the second half he probes the book's brilliant, complex engagement with issues of identity, history and narrative itself.

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