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Hogg, James

Hogg, James (1772–1835). Poet and novelist. ‘The Ettrick Shepherd’ had a long career as a minor poet and novelist before publishing anonymously an extraordinary masterpiece. The Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824) dealt with psychological disorder and antinomian presbyterianism with a disturbing realism which has its roots in the psychology of the Scottish Enlightenment. Largely self-educated, Hogg acquired a taste for the vernacular culture of the borders and began to see himself as a new Burns. His early verse attracted Scott and gave rise to a complicated but enduring friendship which taxed them both. He made his way in Edinburgh as a literary journalist and as a historical poet, The Queen's Wake (1813) being much admired. His historical novels ape Scott's but are now attracting scholarly attention. A man with a highly developed taste for self-dramatization, he cultivated the role of the professional Scot in his popular contributions to the Tory Blackwood's Magazine.

Nicholas Phillipson

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Hogg, James

James Hogg, 1770–1835, Scottish poet, called the Ettrick Shepherd. Sir Walter Scott established Hogg's literary reputation by including some of his poems in Border Minstrelsy. Hogg's verse, notable for its earthy vigor, includes The Mountain Bard (1807) and The Queen's Wake (1813). He also wrote several prose works, including recollections of Scott (1834).

See his memoirs, Confessions of a Fanatic (1824); study by L. Simpson (1962).

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