After Scott's death in 1832 James Hogg wrote an affectionate but frank account of their long friendship. Scott's son-in-law and official biographer, John Gibson Lockhart, declared himself to be filled with 'utter disgust and loathing' at the 'beastly and abominable things' he found it to contain.
This edition includes both the original version, written as a contribution to a Scott biography planned by a young London friend of Hogg's, and a revised version created subsequently for an American market. Those with an interest in Romantic biography and autobiography will be particularly fascinated by these lively, readable, idiosyncratic and disconcerting texts.
A wealth of information is provided in the paperback edition of this volume, which also includes a useful Hogg chronology and reading list.
About the Author
What makes this in the end fascinating and compelling reading is that Hogg does not present us with a balanced and distanced account of someone else’s life but rather opens up to us a particularly interesting relationship between two people, a relationship which attracts our attention because, like real-life relationships, it is not without its ups and downs, its tensions and disturbances... Jill Rubenstein’s excellent introduction to these texts provides us, amongst other things, with a balanced and perceptive account of the two writers’ complex relationship… “the tribute of one remarkable man to another, both flawed and both admirable, living in a remarkable time.”
On the evidence [of this volume] Hogg is a writer of enormous versatility, ambition and literary accomplishments whose work ought to feature on every Romantic syllabus. The editors of SSC are making this possible for the first time - Romanticists should seize the opportunity.
Rubenstein's introduction … is useful and perceptive., as when she suggests that Anecdotes was, for Hogg, 'a sort of declaration of independence'. In it, Hogg's rich voice ricochets from affection and awe to irritation and resentment.
The editorial task has been undertaken with a peculiar degree of commitment and with a determination that a long-postponed duty towards James Hogg will now be undertaken with a thoroughness which should stand the test of time.