Published in 1988 in hardback with dustjacket by Scottish Academic Press (160pp, ISBN 0707304558), this book was published more than 200 years after James Hogg's birth and at a time when his work was undergoing something of a revival.
It brings an entirely new approach to discussing the writings of James Hogg, tracing the development of 'myth' or meaningful process in Hogg's poetry, stories and novels; also presenting new information about Hogg's life - stressing his love of conviviality and good company.
The main emphasis is on Hogg's masterpieces like the Queen's Wake, Poetic Mirror, Three Perils of Woman, and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.
By placing these works in the context of Hogg's development as a man, the author argues that he is a poet and novelist of world stature. Hogg's relations with other writers of the day, such as Scott, Byron and Wordsworth are also emphasised.
This book presents Hogg's poems and prose in chronological order, something that most previous publications did not do.
Chapters: One: The Artist as a Young Man; Two: Humble Genius; Three: The Frame is Braced, The Mind Set Free; Four: Poetic Mirrors; Five: Are the Monroes of Foulis Your Cousins; Six: Confessions of an Artist; Seven: A Great Paracentrical Parabola. Conclusion; Selected Bibliography