James Hogg was a Scottish author known primarily for his poetry, short stories, ballads, songs and historical narratives. Raised by a tenant farmer in the Ettrick hills of Scotland, Hogg was mostly self-educated, teaching himself to read with only the Bible, and developing an early interest in literature through his mother's recitation of Scottish ballads, songs, and fairy tales. Although his 1824 novel, "The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner", was released to disappointing sales, it was "rediscovered" in 1924 by André Gide and is now recognized as a masterpiece of prose fiction. The "Justified Sinner" of the title is the novel's protagonist, Robert Colwan-Wringham, who as an Antinomian Calvinist is convinced of his own divine salvation, regardless of sin. This complex novel features elements of the Gothic and supernatural, a duel narrative, and has been praised for its sophisticated technique, psychological complexity, and elements of irony.
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