- Edited by Sharon Alker, Whitman College, USA and Holly Faith Nelson, Trinity Western University, Canada
Responding to the resurgence of interest in the Scottish working-class writer James Hogg, Sharon Alker and Holly Faith Nelson offer the first edited collection devoted to an examination of the critical implications of his writings and their position in the Edinburgh and London literary marketplaces. Writing during a particularly complex time in Scottish literary history, Hogg, a working shepherd for much of his life, is seen to challenge many of the aesthetic conventions adopted by his contemporaries and to anticipate many of the concerns voiced in discussions of literature in recent years. While the essays privilege Hogg's primary texts and read them closely in their immediate cultural context, the volume's contributors also introduce relevant research on oral culture, nationalism, transnationalism, intertextuality, class, colonialism, empire, psychology, and aesthetics where they serve to illuminate Hogg's literary ingenuity as a working-class writer in Romantic Scotland.
Contents: Preface; Scottish romanticism and the working class author: an introduction, Sharon Alker and Holly Faith Nelson; Hogg and Scott's 'first meeting' and the politics of literary friendship, Peter Garside; National discourse or discord? Transformations of The Family Legend by Baillie, Scott and Hogg, Meiko O'Halloran; Fanaticism and enlightenment in Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Ian Duncan; Robert Wringhim's solitude, Gillian Hughes; The labourer and literary tradition: James Hogg's early reading and its impact on him as a writer, H.B. de Groot; James Hogg and the authority of tradition, Suzanne Gilbert; James Hogg: Scottish romanticism, song and the public sphere, Murray Pittock; Singing 'more old songs than ever ploughman could': the songs of James Hogg and Robert Burns in the musical marketplace, Kirsteen McCue; Hogg's bardic epic: Queen Hynde and Macpherson's Ossian, Douglas S. Mack; The perilous castle(s) of The Three Perils of Man, Graham Tulloch; 'Perfectly ludicrous': the game of national meaning in The Three Perils of Man, Caroline McCracken-Flesher; James Hogg and Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine: buying and selling the Ettrick Shepherd, Thomas C. Richardson; Empire and the 'brute creation': the limits of language in Hogg's 'The Pongos', Sharon Alker and Holly Faith Nelson; Hogg and the American literary marketplace, Janette Currie; Bibliography; Index.
About the Editor: Sharon Alker is assistant professor of English and General Studies at Whitman College, USA, and Holly Faith Nelson is associate professor of English at Trinity Western University, Canada.
Reviews: 'This enterprising new collection employs revisionist research on Romanticism to cast fascinating new light on the life and writing of James Hogg. A distinguished line-up of contributors does not disappoint: we see Hogg negotiating a series of authorial identities and creating new imaginative possibilities in forms as diverse as Virgilian Georgic, song, national narrative and Gothic, and pushing the boundaries of decorum and style to the point of his readers' discomfort. This is a book that will be essential reading for Romanticists, students of Scottish and working class literature, and Hogg specialists.'
Susan Manning, University of Edinburgh, UK
'Ranging widely across his texts, this collection demonstrates James Hogg's remarkable literary range; uncovering hidden contexts, these writers disclose Hogg's almost archeological keenness in exploring his cultural domains; in sharp close readings, these essays reveal a Hogg of remarkable perception, nuance, and wit. This volume demands and performs a deep engagement with the many facets of the Ettrick Shepherd, both those invented by Hogg and for him by others, in order to remake the terrain of Romanticism.'
Mark Schoenfield, Vanderbilt University, USA and author of British Periodicals and Romantic Identity: The 'Literary Lower Empire'
'The calibre of this collection certainly makes it essential reading for specialists of Hogg, and for scholars of Scottish and working-class literature. However, styled in a clear and non-intimidating manner, this work also appeals to a wider audience, and has the potential to compel many unfamiliar with Hogg to become more acquainted with the contributions of the Ettrick Shepherd in Scottish literary history.' International Review of Scottish Studies
'All in all, this volume provides stimulus for much new thinking, looking well beyond pieces that are now part of the canon, or on the way to being so, particularly when one also takes into account some twenty pages of Bibliography, representing a virtual checklist of recent scholarship. In his essays on Queen Hynde, Douglas Mack describes the poem as a celebration of 'energy, liberation, hope and new beginnings'. It is fitting that the same words could also be appropriately applied to the volume of essays dedicated to him.' Studies in Hogg and his World
'… make[s an] important contribution to Scottish literary studies… offer[ing] a feast of new perspectives on [a] key writer from the Romantic period, raising questions that may not ever be easily answerable. It is good to see interesting essays by young scholars alongside those by distinguished specialists.' The Wordsworth Circle
Dr Sharon Alker 's profile page on the Whitman College website.
Dr. Holly Faith Nelson's Trinity Western University Profile Page.
Extracts from this title are available to view:
Full contents list