Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

James Hogg's most famous book, published in 1824, was rediscovered and praised by André Gide, and influenced Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Ian Rankin has also praised it highly.
I decided I should read it, and found it surprisingly easy in spite of occasional bursts of Scots speech.

It contains comedy alongside horror.  There are echoes of the conflict between episcopalians and presbyterians. There's plenty of criticism of the Calvinist doctrine of predestination - giving the chosen ones a free pass to heaven.  There's a shape-shifting demon, and undertones of Faust. 

His examination of fanaticism, and the way it leads people to believe they are justified in killing those who disagree with them resonates strongly today.


Ida Jones said...

Sounds like one to put on the list.

I am nearing the end of the third book of Ken Follett's The Century Trilogy so your last sentence resonates!

aliqot said...

Hello Ida!

Plus ça change, eh?
I must read more Ken Follett.
The book above is available cheaply on Kindle, and, as I said, was not a difficult read!