If you think that the best response to religious extremism is to laugh at it, then James Hogg’s most famous work, published in , demands. Citation for published version: Fielding, P , ‘The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner’. in The Edinburgh Companion to James Hogg. Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner study guide contains a biography of James Hogg, literature essays, quiz questions.

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The novel concludes with a return to the ‘Editor’s Narrative’ which explains how the sinner’s memoir was discovered in his grave.

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg – Free Ebook

Psychologically speaking, Robert may not be likeable but we can easily understand why he has become the murderous egomaniac that he is: The first, George, will grow up to be the apple of his father’s eye. It shows that the devil can take the shape of an angel and that evil can hide from the light of goodnessto deceit people from the truth.

Cherubim will nudge you gently through the gates while choirs of heavenly angels sing, play their trumpets, herald in tidings of joy and generally get down with all their usual angelic business.

A fascinating book, and an excellent choice for anyone in search of a suitably nightmarish Hallowe’en read. Set in justtified eighteenth-century Scotland, the novel recounts the corruption of a boy of strict Calvinist parentage by a mysterious stranger under whose influence he commits a series of murders.

Thank you in advance History has already been written: How far can we give his narrative any credence? Tw This is the first reading experience I have ever had that would have been enhanced by having a church organ belt out some thunderous riffs every now hustified again in the background.

Neatly told from from two different perspectives, it’s a fascinating study of how the Devil can twist the beliefs kames someone who things he’s one of the Elect, and twist them on their head to sinnr him destroy those who try to do good, and ultimately himself. Are you taking the piss? The editor’s narrative is even more concretely dated and situated in present time, external to justifide novel, through the device of the letter by Hogg included by the fictional editor which was in fact published in Blackwood’s Magazine as described.


A good book stays with you; it becomes part of you as you perpetually ponder its mysteries whilst it lingers on your mind. So why not have some fun? One final thought is that when this book was originally released it wasn’t all that well received probably because it upset the Calvinists, and it ended up being rewritten to placate them and it was not really picked up until modern times.

This twisted pharisaical view becomes the key for the spiritual degeneration and subsequent fall confessilns destruction of the young fanatic that is Robert Wringhim Colwan. Now witness Roberts’ slow descent into madness and he maybe, possibly kills a whole bunch of other people, loses track of time and generally becomes detached from reality Therefore, Gil-Martin may be regarded as Satan himself, and there are quite a few passages that bear out sihner interpretation, e.

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

In my view, the bit that’s really clever about it, is that the first version of events you see is the more objective “Editor’s Notes”; and then it revisits the same events – and many more – from the point of view of the ‘justified sinner’, who manages to rationalise murder as doing God’s work, when in fact he’s doing the complete opposite. This is where the interesting part of the novel arises.

View all 10 comments. Abandoned by the man the law says is his father, and subjected to the religious fanaticism of his guardian and his mother, it’s perhaps not surprising that the boy grows up to be somewhat twisted and jealous of his elder brother, who seems to have a golden life. This can be somewhat frustrating, as often, the only thing we desire of the character is for him to show the slightest bit of self-awareness, but the story is also a kind of satire of allegory, and those of us who recall The Pilgrim’s ProgressPiers Plowmanand Everyman will see that Hogg’s work justfiied a sort of justififd to Candideand that the wooden characters are a fuel for mockery, and for deeper thought.


A “post-modernist” early 19th century Scottish novel featuring multiple narratives and at least one–possibly three–unreliable narrators, “Sinner” is a curious congeries of doppleganger tale, abnormal psychology, moral fable, anti-Calvinist satire, and historical fiction with a little comic dinner thrown in.

People who like Gothic Horror. After all, he grew up under the influence of a couple of judtified fanatics, was rejected by his father, the Laird, and might have seen himself, tainted with the suspicion of being an illegitimate son, as doomed to playing second fiddle to his happy-go-lucky brother. The books list says that this is “at once gothic comedy, religious horror story, mystery thriller and psychological study.

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. A book the likes of which will not be repeated, I hope! Robert Wringhim, brought confession by parents who obsess over church dogma with Pharisaical hypocrisy, takes this inherited wisdom to extremes.

Either I had a second self, who transacted business in my likeness, or else my body was at times possessed by a spirit over which it had no controul, and of whose actions my own soul was wholly unconscious. Instead the devil shapes himself according to human images, and as a result is more grotesque and scary. Jun 26, Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it Recommends it for: Although not always my cup of tea in novels, I found the multiple narratives to be hugely interesting and enli I found this totally addictive and read it in two sittings.

Basically you’re left to make up your own mind. Not that the book gets at all bogged down in any of these subjects, but the author assumes the reader’s familiarity with them, so doesn’t explain them as he goes along.