Set in early eighteenth-century Scotland, James Hogg’s masterpiece is a brilliant psychological study of religious fanaticism and the power of evil. Led on by his sinister companion, Gil-Martin, Robert Wringhim commits a series of atrocious crimes. As the novel progresses, however, and the complexity of Wringhim’s mind is revealed, the reader begins to doubt whether Gil-Martin even exists.
This edition of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner places the work within the context of Calvinism, Scottish political and constitutional history, and early psychological theories of “double consciousness.” A wide-ranging introduction discusses the novel in relation to its setting as well as to the period in which it was composed.
“Adrian Hunter’s thorough introduction and detailed annotations make this an essential edition for all students of Hogg’s great novel. Like other Broadview titles, it also contains a number of auxiliary materials, such as contemporary reviews and a chronology, that will greatly enhance the reader’s appreciation.” — Duncan Wu, St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University
“Hunter’s introduction is well-informed in terms both of the novel’s intellectual context and current critical approaches, while the 1824-based text offers a clear reading version of the novel as originally published. Especially valuable are the volume’s appendices, with their well-chosen selections from earlier and contemporary writings relating to key aspects such as theological background, gothic fiction, and mental illness.” — Peter D. Garside, Cardiff University
“Hunter’s edition of Hogg’s Confessions is simply the best paperback edition currently available. His introductory essay sets out the idiosyncratic historical, theological and literary contexts of this marvellous novel in a lucid and authoritative manner, drawing on his intimate knowledge of recent Hogg scholarship.” — Simon Kövesi, University of Dundee
“Hunter presents the Confessions with accuracy and care, placing welcome emphasis on the deliberately perplexing nature of the work and Hogg’s desire to unsettle and challenge us as readers.” — Meiko O’Halloran, Linacre College, Oxford