Edited and introduced by Douglas Gifford. The Three Perils of Man is regarded as Hogg’s most ambitious work of fiction. The book’s extraordinary combination of the fantastic, the funny, the serious and the historically realistic must be unique in literature. The adventures of its characters, told with the author’s characteristically bold simplicity, are many, mad, and breathtakingly fast. Ranging from Galloway to Northumberland, the main focus of the book is to be found in the Scottish Borders. Hogg knew and loved the Borders well, and the book is full of their oral tradition and local lore. In his attempt to synthesise this material with history, romance and the high literary ideals of his time, Hogg’s nearest modern parallels would be a combination of Tolkien and Iain Banks. Hogg’s fusion of traditional folklore and innovative style was viewed as an anachronism by his contemporaries, and it is only now that his work is recognised s one of the most original and masterly in the Scottish canon.
About the author
James Hogg (1770-1835) was born on his father's farm near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders. he left school for farm work at the age of seven and became a shepherd in his teens. Steeped in oral tradition he was determined to be a poet like Burns from an early age on. He became friends with Walter Scott and in 1810 he went to Edinburgh to seek a literary career. His most well-known work, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, made little impact when it first appeared (anonymously) in 1824. He continued to publish poetry and prose until his death in 1835.
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