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SCOTNOTES Study Guides

James Hogg’s

Elaine Petrie

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1988
Price: £5.95
ISBN 978-0-948877-05-6

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James Hogg’s most famous novel is an unforgettable tale of mystery, murder, religious fanaticism, folklore, horror, and fantasy. Strikingly modern in style and tone, the intricate structure and eerie atmosphere of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner makes it a favourite text for classroom study.

Elaine Petrie’s Scotnote carefully exposes and explains the numerous layers of this classic novel, and is ideal for senior school pupils and students.


  • The author’s life and work
  • Literary background to the Confessions
  • Religious background to the Confessions
  • Confessions: structure and style
  • Confessions: character and themes
  • The editor’s narrative (1)
  • Robert’s memoir
  • The editor’s narrative (2)
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography


Also available: ASLS audio CDs

James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
A Commentary

by Douglas Gifford
In this double CD Professor Gifford guides the listener through the turns and twists of Hogg’s novel, accompanied by atmospheric readings of selections from the text by John Shedden. Both psychological and supernatural elements are explored, along with the background to Hogg and his works.

CD: £14.95

Last updated 19 October 2010.