'Commentators once dismissed Perils of Woman as a bad book because it trampled on the flowerbeds of early-nineteenth-century decorum; they now acclaim it a masterpiece for the very same reason, reading subversive craft in the place of oafishness.' Ian Duncan, Studies in Hogg and his World
About the Author
The late Douglas S. Mack was formerly Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Stirling.
Both stories [of The Three Perils of Woman] are generically diverse, self-consciously impure. Hogg described them as ‘domestic tales’, apparently soliciting a female readership whose delicacy he then assaults with speculations about promiscuity and prostitution, and with prayers so chattily informal that reviewers found them blasphemous. Both stories modulate suddenly from comedy to tragedy, though one - but which? - struggles through to what may be a happy ending. [...] What matters about The Three Perils of Woman is not the conclusions it has to offer about the issues it raises, but the fact that these are addressed with such painful urgency. They have become urgent once again, and will continue to be so; and if the book provides an especially useful way of thinking about them, it’s because it offers an ‘unflinching’ account of a violent national past while acknowledging the temptation, the impulse, even the need, to flinch.
Commentators once dismissed Perils of Woman as a bad book because it trampled on the flowerbeds of early-nineteenth-century decorum; they now acclaim it a masterpiece for the very same reason, reading subversive craft in the place of oafishness.
These attractive editions of Hogg's work are set directly from the original texts, and in the case of the Perils of Woman and The Shepherd's Calendar, actually represent the first ever republications of the originals... these paperback reprints further aid the dissemination of Hogg’s best works, creating affordable and accessible editions. Texts previously available only to those with the golden keys of academia can now be bought and enjoyed by a wider readership.
The Three Perils of Woman is a remarkable and disturbing book.. This is truly a work of extremes but this excellent edition, particularly with the extra new material of the paperback edition, enables us to appreciate how all these extremes fit together and how they relate to the literary, social and historical context in which they were created.