George and Robert are brothers, but their upbringings couldn’t have been more different. George was raised by his fun-loving father, while Robert was brought up in the stern Calvinist faith, taught to see Satan lurking around every corner. The siblings were always enemies, and when George is found with a sword buried in his back, Robert is named the culprit, beginning a strange and terrible journey that will take him out of his mind—and into the arms of the devil himself.
This unique novel, first published in 1824, is one of the most remarkable explorations of supernatural evil in Western literature. A gothic masterpiece told from multiple perspectives, its influence can be felt in the works of authors from Robert Louis Stevenson to Stephen King.
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Scottish poet and novelist James Hogg (1770–1835) overcame his lowly birth and lack of education to become one of the most admired writers of his day. His writings fell into obscurity after his death until their rediscovery in the 1940s by André Gide and other critics. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner is Hogg's best-known and most highly acclaimed work.
Robert is a difficult and disturbed young man. He comes from a troubled family background and turns to his Calvinist faith for solace but finds it hard to get along with other people, particularly his brother and his dissolute father. After he falls in with the mysterious and charming Gil-Martin his actions become more and more extreme. He convinces himself that he is one of the lucky few who have been chosen for heaven and that therefore all his actions automatically right and good...even murder.
It is written in English, with Scots appearing mainly in dialogue.
'He was constantly harassed with the idea, that the next time he lifted his eyes, he would to a certainty see that face, the most repulsive to all his feelings of aught the earth contained'
A nightmarish tale of religious fanaticism and darkness, this chilling classic of the macabre tells the tale of Robert Wringhim, drawn in his moral confusion into committing the most monstrous acts by an evil doppelganger. James Hogg's masterpiece is as troublingly duplicitous as Wringhim himself, and was ignored and bowdlerized before becoming a hugely influential work of Scottish literature.
The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
James Hogg ('the Ettrick Shepherd') was a poet, novelist, and farmer whose work was discovered by Sir Walter Scott and admired by writers as different as Wordsworth and Byron. His most famous book, The Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), is striking in its use of Calvinist doctrine, demonology, and a highly modern psychological perception to tell the story of the criminal Colwan, deluded by occult forces into thinking he represents an instrument of divine justice and vengeance.
Introduction by Roger Lewis
(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)
This is a story of
adventure and romance set in the early Scotland of saints and
swordsmen. A young, Scottish, queen must rule, and seek a husband,
whilst in imminent peril from a sea-borne Viking attack. The author,
James Hogg, claimed the tale to be true, handed down in story and
song, and many characters are historically authentic. The remnants of
Beregonium, first palace of the Scots, still exist on a vitrified,
rocky hill top. Excavations in 1874 produced the remnants of a sword,
a dagger and a ring.
Hogg was a self-taught
writer from very humble origins whose book, “The Justified Sinner”,
is regarded by many as the best Scottish novel. He liked “Queen
Hynde” the best of all his works. The character of Wicked Wene, the
queens companion, is a delightful study of the impish, teasing nature
of young girls. Sparks fly when she comes up against the bachelor
monks of Iona!
This abridged version
makes for a smoother read and retains the best poetic parts while
moving the story forward with prose commentary. Illustrations help
the reader to visualize the scene, and notes on the historical
accuracy leave you wondering how much was true.
You are left with a
lingering feeling that something dramatic once happened here. No poet
could fail to be moved by the vista that overwhelm the gaze from this
ancient site. An inspirational presence drifts in the shadows around
Beregonium awakening the poetic spirit to an awareness of the fading
echoes of a splendid past.
Whatever the truth,
standing on the mighty cliff of Dun Bhaille an Righ, the 'Fort of
the King' and gazing westwards over the magnificent bay it is easy to
imagine that great deeds once chose this land as their stage. And
that some beautiful, royal, lady gave birth to a legend whose shadows
will cling here forever.