'We have heard much of the rage of fanaticism in former days, but nothing to this'
A wretched young man, 'an outcast in the world', tells the story of his upbringing by a heretical Calvinist minister who leads him to believe that he is one of the elect, predestined for salvation and thus above the moral law. Falling under the spell of a mysterious stranger who bears an uncanny likeness to himself, he embarks on a career as a serial murderer.
Robert Wringhim's Memoirs are presented by an editor whose attempts to explain the story only succeed in intensifying its more baffling and bizarre aspects. Is Wringhim the victim of a psychotic delusion, or has he been tempted by the devil to wage war against God's enemies? Hogg's sardonic and terrifying novel, too perverse for nineteenth-century taste, is now recognized as one of the masterpieces of Romantic fiction.
The first edition text of 1824 has been freshly considered for this new edition. A critical introduction explores the remarkable career of the novel's author and its historical, theological, and cultural contexts.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Ian Duncan has previously taught at Yale and Oregon universities and has been at UC Berkeley since 2001. He has edited several OWC editions including Doyle's The Lost World, Scott's Ivanhoe and Rob Roy, and the anthology Travel Writing 1700-1830 with Elizabeth Bohls. He is co-editor of the forthcoming (2011) Edinburgh Companion to James Hogg.