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Winter Evening Tales

James Hogg
Edited by Ian Duncan


Winter Evening Tales (1820; second edition 1821) was James Hogg's most successful work of prose fiction in his lifetime. Exhibiting the most complex genesis of any of Hogg's works, it is the outstanding example of a 'national' genre pioneered by him - the miscellaneous collection of popular and traditional narratives. Hogg's experimental medley of novellas, tales, poems and sketches posed a lively alternative to the dominant form of the historical novel established by Walter Scott. The collection includes terse masterpieces of mystery and the uncanny, virtuoso improvisations on folktale themes, and - the highlights of the edition - two brilliant autobiographical novellas, The Renowned Adventures of Basil Lee and Love Adventures of Mr George Cochrane.

Reprinted in incomplete and unreliable texts in Victorian editions of Hogg's works, Winter Evening Tales fell into almost total obscurity after the author's death. The Stirling/ South Carolina Edition of the Collected Works of James Hogg is delighted to republish this key work in Hogg's career in its entirety for the first time since the early nineteenth century.

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.

Ian Duncan studied at King's College, Cambridge, and Yale University; he is Florence Green Boxby Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel (1992), Scott's Shadow: The Novel in Romantic Edinburgh (2007), and editions of works by Walter Scott and James Hogg. He is a General Editor of the Collected Works of James Hogg.


The expanse of his genius and imagination, from the macabre to the scandalous and criminal is vividly on display in this classic collection.
Hogg must be the most unavailable of the major Scottish writers in the first half of the nineteenth century. The new edition, therefore, performs a crucial function. Moreover Winter Evening Tales is going to be one of the most desirable volumes, on grounds of sheer readability and aesthetic merit. For students of Hogg, of Scottish literature, of romanticism, and of the tale collection as a form, it counts as “essential reading”.
- Professor Richard Maxwell, Valparaiso University
Ian Duncan’s credentials as editor of the volume are undoubted: he is a leading scholar of Scottish Romanticism, already an experienced editor of Scott and Buchan (amongst others), and has played a strong part in the current revival of Hogg studies internationally.
- Professor Susan Manning, University of Edinburgh
Offers an astonishing variety of voices and subjects...Full of unexpected delights.
Splendid new edition … [modern readers'] understanding of the collection is immeasurably enriched by the meticulous scholarship of Ian Duncan … Gratitude galore is therefore due to Ian Duncan and to the general editors, Douglas Mack and Gillian Hughes, for enabling readers to appreciate Hogg's extraordinary collection of tales once more, in this finely-produced, beautifully-edited addition to The Collected Works of James Hogg.

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