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Lay Sermons

James Hogg
Edited by Gillian Hughes, Douglas S. Mack

Lay Sermons offers, playfully, a series of lay sermons on good principles and good breeding - the last thing that one would expect from the pen of Blackwood's Ettrick Shepherd. But a significant part of the joke is that the Shepherd provides lay sermons that combine into a series of wise meditations on life and on literature.

About the Author

James Hogg was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English. He is best known for his novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

Gillian Hughes is Advisory Editor to The New Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson. She was editor and/or general editor for many volumes in the Stirling/South Carolina Hogg edition, founding editor of the journal Studies in Hogg and his World, and is the author of James Hogg: A Life (Edinburgh University Press, 2007). Her current projects include an edition (co-edited with Peter Garside) of the Shorter Verse of Walter Scott.

The late Douglas S. Mack was formerly Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Stirling.


Hogg was one of the most complex Scots of his time, as his most famous friend Scott realised when he acknowledged he was a genuine genius. It has taken Scotland a long time to wake up to the enduring importance of the author of the Justified Sinner and all the works to be included in, when complete, what will amount to the 31 volumes of the Stirling/South Carolina edition of the whole Hogg. Scotland perennially recognises only one writer, but Burns is not the whole story.

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