In this collection of short stories Hogg focuses on the Scottish civil war of 1644-45, in which the Marquis of Montrose led his royalist forces in a series of stunning victories against the odds before his final defeat at Philiphaugh. Each of Hogg's five tales centres on one of the five major battles of Montrose's brilliant but ultimately futile campaign. Each tale is utterly different from the others in genre and tone, but taken together they build up a composite picture of what it was like to experience the 'anarchy and confusion' of the time at first hand. The importance of Tales of the Wars of Montrose was long obscured by the fact that the publisher of the first edition seriously mangled Hogg's text, not least by including an unrelated sixth tale in order to bulk out the collection to the commercially-expected norm of three volumes. Gillian Hughes has restored Hogg's coherent five-tale collection, and by returning to Hogg's manuscripts in preparing her edition she has made possible the first appearance in print of an uncensored text of this lively and innovative collection.
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.