Book Week Scotland #6

A personal rake through my favourite books for Book Week Scotland

Book 6: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; with a Detail of Curious Traditionary Facts and Other Evidence by The Editor, by James Hogg (1824)

Title Page of ConfessionsI haven’t put up a cover image of one of my most favourite books because none of the versions I have do justice to the contents – they don’t quite get the tone or the image across of how I read the book. There are 77 versions of this book listed on Good Reads – nowadays, it’s a popular 19th-century novel. Popular, because different people find different things to like/admire/enjoy. One of the oft-criticised things about Hogg’s writing is that he wrote too much, too quickly, too wide in his range – he’s hard to pin down. A romantic poet, historical novelist, cultural archivist, songwriter, dramatist, satirist, – all things to all men and nothing particularly brilliant because it’s watered down – so they say, those who ‘know’ about literature. I disagree and this book is the best evidence. No one has been able to pin it down, not because it’s bad but because of skilful plotting and ingenious, inventive storytelling.

I’ve blogged about this book once or twice before.