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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. Its 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 two brilliant autobiographical novellas, The Renowned Adventures of Basil Lee and Love Adventures of Mr George Cochrane.

This paperback edition takes account of newly-discovered information about An Old Soldier's Tale and The Long Pack. A critical introduction, explanatory notes, reading list and Hogg chronology are provided to assist the reader in appreciating Hogg's entertaining and challenging tale collection to the full.

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.


Winter Evening Tales is one of Hogg’s 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
With an erudite introduction and exceptional editing by Ian Duncan, this instalment boasts some of Hogg’s best work – the macabre story “The Long Pack”, and the weirdly brilliant “Connel of Dee”.
The expanse of his genius and imagination, from the macabre to the scandalous and criminal is vividly on display in this classic collection.
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
Offers an astonishing variety of voices and subjects...Full of unexpected delights.

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