Incredible tale of fantasy, witchcraft, humor and magic. Being a combination of supernatural folk tale, historical novel and also a satire this book displays a fundamental tensity between romance and anti-romance apparent in a number of Hogg's works. The story concerns two women and the contests they set down to the men who flatter them. James Hogg (1770-1835) was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist who wrote in both Scots and English. As a young man he worked as a shepherd and farmhand, and was largely self-educated through reading. He was a friend of many of the great writers of his day, including Sir Walter Scott, of whom he later wrote an unauthorized biography.