Altrive Tales: Collected Among the Peasantry of Scotland and from Foreign Adventurers (The Collected Works of James Hogg)
By: James Hogg (author), Gillian Hughes (editor)Hardback
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Altrive Tales was carefully prepared by Hogg in 1832 as the opening volume in a planned twelve-volume collected prose fiction series, intended as the culmination of his career as a storyteller. It opens with his own story of how a ragged servant-lad remade himself as a respected professional writer, the associate of Byron, Scott, Southey, Wordsworth and Galt. Hogg's frank and humorous 'Memoir of the Author's Life' is widely recognised as a classic of Romantic autobiography and an important record of early nineteenth-century Scottish culture. Hogg's sharp eye for the latest publishing phenomena and pawky self-mocking humour is evident in his awareness of Altrive Tales as a contribution to the monthly-volume classic fiction series of the early 1830s following Sir Walter Scott's magnum opus edition of the Waverley Novels. Frankly pleading guilty to the egotism of presenting his own output to the world as a literary classic Hogg engagingly confesses, 'I like to write about myself: in fact, there are few things which I like better [...]'. The themes of the 'Memoir' continue in the tales that follow.'
The Adventures of Captain John Lochy' is a fast-paced historical fiction, the autobiography of a social outcast adrift in Scotland, Russia, the Netherlands, and Sweden. 'The Pongos' (an early version of the Tarzan story) takes a look at Scottish involvement in the British empire in a comic parody of Enlightenment notions about the nature of man and of society. 'Marion's Jock' is a virtuoso exercise in Scots and in Hogg's ability to communicate the peasant lifestyle of his native Scottish Borders. This new edition, thoughtfully introduced and extensively annotated, presents Altrive Tales as a major achievement by one of Scotland's finest storytellers.
Gillian Hughes is the author of the biography James Hogg: A Life (EUP, 2007) and is editor of the journal Studies in Hogg and his World. She has edited or co-edited seven volumes in the Stirling/South Carolina Research Edition of the Collected Works of James Hogg series.
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- ID: 9780748618934
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