The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

3.67 (5,591 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Afterword by  , Introduction by  , Edited by 

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Description

A cornerstone of the canon, James Hogg's 1824 masterpiece The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil. Set in early eighteenth-century Scotland, the novel recounts the corruption of a boy of strict Calvinist upbringing by a mysterious stranger under whose influence he commits a series of murders. Superbly crafted and deftly executed, Hogg's book resists any easy explanation of events; is this stranger a figment of the imagination or the devil himself?

This is the complete edition of Hogg's Confessions, including the engraved frontispiece and the (fictional) dedication, omitted from most editions since its first publication in 1824. Today it still serves as a disturbing insight into the dark heart of the human soul and a scathing critique of the strictures of organised religion.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 130 x 192 x 24mm | 240.4g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • Main
  • 1841959588
  • 9781841959580
  • 566,417

Back cover copy

'One of the great works on that sinister border between the supernatural and the psychological. Its atmosphere is unique, its penetration is shocking, and the truthfulness of its account of religious mania is both timeless and timely.' Philip Pullman

The Complete Edition
Including the engraved frontispiece and (fictional) dedication and with a new preface by Ian Rankin

It is Scotland in the early eighteenth century. Fear and superstition grip the land. Robert Wringhim, a boy of strict Calvinist upbringing, is corrupted by a shadowy figure who calls himself Gil-Martin. Under his influence Robert commits a series of murders which he regards as 'justified' by God under the tenets of his faith.

Hogg's book is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil and a scathing critique of organised religion. Superbly crafted and deftly executed, it resists any easy explanation of events; is this stranger a figment of Robert's imagination, or the devil himself?

'A work so moving, so funny, so impassioned, so exact and so mysterious that its long history of neglect came as a surprise which has yet to lose its resonance.' Karl Miller, Times Literary Supplement

'Hogg's masterpiece is a psychological thriller, a metaphysical puzzle and a theological and philosophical maze all in one. Its inconsistencies and unresolved questions are what make it at once so gripping and yet so hard to grasp. A strange, disturbing obsession of a book, and a key text of Scottish literature.'
James Robertson, author of The Testament of Gideon Mack
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Review quote

Hogg's enduring masterpiece is a triumph and deserves to be read, enjoyed and discussed by a new generation. * * Ian Rankin, from his introduction * * Hogg's masterpiece is a psychological thriller, a metaphysical puzzle and a theological and philosophical maze all in one. Its inconsistencies and unresolved questions are what make it at once so gripping and yet so hard to grasp. A strange, disturbing obsession of a book, and a key text of Scottish literature. * * James Robertson, author of THE TESTAMENT OF GIDEON MACK * * James Hogg's Confessions is one of the great works on that sinister border between the supernatural and the psychological - a borderland that Scottish authors seem to have explored with a particular relish. Its atmosphere is unique, its penetration is shocking, and the truthfulness of its account of religious mania is both timeless and timely. * * Philip Pullman * * A seriously spooky Scottish tale of boyhood and religious fundamentalism * * Verdict * *
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About James Hogg

James Hogg (1770-1835) was born near Selkirk in the Scottish Borders. From a young age he was determined to be a poet like Burns. 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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Rating details

5,591 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 27% (1,525)
4 31% (1,760)
3 27% (1,508)
2 10% (565)
1 4% (233)
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