The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

by James Hogg


The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner: Written by Himself: With a detail of curious traditionary facts and other evidence by the editor is a novel by the Scottish author James Hogg, published anonymously in 1824. 
The plot concerns Robert Wringhim, a staunch Calvinist who believes he is guaranteed Salvation and justified in killing those he believes are already damned by God. The novel has been classified among many genres, including gothic novel, psychological mystery, metafiction, satire and the study of totalitarian thought; it can also be thought of as an early example of modern crime fiction in which the story is told, for the most part, from the point of view of its criminal anti-hero. The action of the novel is located in a historically definable Scotland with accurately observed settings, and simultaneously implies a pseudo-Christian world of angels, devils, and demonic possession. The narrative is set against the antinomian societal structure flourishing in the borders of Scotland in Hogg's day. 
The first edition sold very poorly and the novel suffered from a period of critical neglect, especially in the nineteenth century. However, since the latter part of the twentieth century it has won greater critical interest and attention. It was praised by André Gide in an introduction to the 1947 reissue and described by the critic Walter Allen as 'the most convincing representation of the power of evil in our literature'. It has also been seen as a study of religious fanaticism through its deeply critical portrait of the Calvinist concept of predestination. It is written in English, with some sections of Scots that appear in dialogue. The demonic character Gil-Martin may be a reference to the Gaelic word gille-Màrtainn ("fox").

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

person AuthorJames Hogg
language CountryScotland
api GenrePhilosophical fiction, Crime, Psychological fiction, Gothic Fiction
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book coverImage: Σ64 | wikimedia
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansInternet Archive
headphones AudioLibrivox | Internet Archive
Reader: Collaborative 
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