The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
In the 1920s the eminent French novelist and critic Andre Gide was given a copy of James Hogg’s neglected masterpiece, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, and went on to record how he had read ’this astounding book […] with a stupefaction and admiration that increased at every page’. Many readers have subsequently shared Gide’s enthusiasm, and Confessions of a Justified Sinner is now widely recognized as one of the outstanding British novels of the Romantic era. It has also been acclaimed as one of the defining texts of Scotland, with Iain Crichton Smith recently applauding ’a towering Scottish novel, one of the very greatest of all Scottish books’. Peter Garside’s new edition excitingly opens out our understanding of Hogg’s work, disclosing new levels of previously undected references. It also throws fresh light on the remarkable story of the novel’s genesis, while providing the first full and accessible charting of its diverse cultural, theological, geographical, and historical contexts.
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