James Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified
Sinner is a Scottish classic, a quintessentially Gothic tale of
psychological horror, and a relentless attack on Calvinist dogma.
The Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and
notes by Karl Miller.Robert Wringham's family is composed of a
dissolute father and brother, a pious mother, and a rival father in
the person of a fanatical Calvinist minister. He comes to believe
that he is one of the elect, predestined to be saved, while others
are damned. Sure of his freedom from the dictates of morality, he
embarks on a series of crimes in the company of a new friend
Gil-Martin, a man of many likenesses who can be mistaken for
Robert, and who explains that they are as one in the holy work of
purifying the world. But who is Gil-Martin? And what does he truly
desire? The Gothic double or doppelganger is nowhere more
powerfully imagined than in Confessions of a Justified Sinner, once
called 'the greatest novel of Scotland'.This new edition has an
introduction by Karl Miller, which discusses the presence of the
novel in the life and times of James Hogg. It also contains two of
Hogg's most interesting stories, 'Marion's Jock' and 'John Gray o'
Middleholm'.James Hogg (1770-1835) born in Ettrick, in the Scottish
Borders. A shepherd for many years, Hogg was writing poems by the
1790s, aiding Walter Scott with material for his collection of
ballads, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. In 1810 he moved to
Edinburgh, where he published several volumes of verse, and worked
on the Spy and Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine. Confessions of a
Justified Sinner was published anonymously in 1824, and is now
generally seen as his masterpiece.If you enjoyed Confessions of a
Justified Sinner, you might like Matthew Lewis's The Monk, also
available in Penguin Classics.'A Scottish classic, a world
classic'Ian Rankin'A sinister, funny, moving tale of demonic
possession, murder and religious fanaticism'Sunday Telegraph
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