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Midsummer Night Dreams and Related Poems

James Hogg
Edited by J H Rubenstein, Gillian Hughes, Meiko O'Halloran


Midsummer Night Dreams and Related Poems comprises ten of Hogg's poems which, in very different ways, explore the visionary and supernatural, and one writer's portrayal of them, echoing the subject and title of Shakespeare's famous play. Chief among these poems is The Pilgrims of the Sun, a visionary journey which seeks to demonstrate Hogg's command not only of his native Scottish tradition of poetry but also of English and even European traditions, including those of Milton and Pope, Dante and Byron. Its counterpart is the hellish visionary journey of the weirdly brilliant 'Connel of Dee'. In another poem Hogg reflects upon the carnage of 'The Field of Waterloo'. He recounts the departure of the fairies from Scotland in 'The Gyre Caryl', and challenges the Enlightenment dismissal of the supernatural in 'Superstition'. From his dramatic sketch 'The Haunted Glen' to his commemoration of the famous comet of 1811, and from the plaintive balladry of 'The Mermaid' to the rumbustious comic delusions of 'The Powris of Moseke', Hogg substantiates in full his vaunted claim to be 'King o' the mountain and fairy school' of poetry.

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Essay on the Genesis of the Texts
'Circling the pales of Heaven' - Hogg and Otherworld Journeys from Dante to Byron
Midsummer Night Dreams and Related Poems
Hogg's Notes
Appendix 1 - MS Fragment of 'The Field of Waterloo. A Poem'
Appendix 2 - Hogg's MS Notes to The Pilgrims of the Sun'
Note on the Texts
Editorial Notes

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.

The late Jill Rubenstein was Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati, and the editor of James Hogg's Anecdotes of Scott among other scholarly works relating to Scott, Hogg, and their contemporaries.

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.

Meiko O'Halloran is a Lecturer in English Literature at Newcastle University. She contributed an essay to the Stirling/South Carolina Edition volume of The Queen's Wake, and is currently preparing a monograph called Hogg's Kaleidoscopic Art.

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