Lay Sermons offers, playfully, a series of lay sermons on good principles and good breeding - the last thing that one would expect from the pen of Blackwood's Ettrick Shepherd. But a significant part of the joke is that the Shepherd provides lay sermons that combine into a series of wise meditations on life and on literature.
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. The late Douglas S. Mack was formerly Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Stirling.