Scottish Gothic

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner – James Hogg

The City of Dreadful Night – James Thomson

A Beleaguered City –  Margaret Oliphant

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ISBN 9781910486122 (epub) 9781910486139 (mobi)
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A collection of three chilling classic novels, the Scottish Gothic bundle make ideal reading for long wintry nights…

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

Set in Scotland at the beginning of the 18th century, the anti-hero, Robert Wringhim, commits a series of murders under the influence of a mysterious stranger who may or may not be the devil. The novel is divided into three parts: a factual summary by the editor; Wringhim’s confession; and finally the subsequent discovery of Wringhim’s body and the shocking confessions buried with him. Hogg presents a powerful picture of evil in this controversial masterpiece of Scottish fiction. The novel offers no easy or definitive answers and the reader will be left to wonder whether Robert Wringhim was visited by the devil or if he imagined the whole thing.

The City of Dreadful Night  by James Thomson

Written as a long poem, Thomson’s dark and sombre work captures the pessimism and ultimately the horror of the city as a place of alienation, loneliness and despair. Its surrealism was well ahead of its time. Parallels can be drawn with T. S Eliot’s The Wasteland and Lanark by Alasdair Gray. The work is dark, but Thomson’s imagery is vivid and his writing can offer glimpses of beauty through the bleakness.

A Beleaguered City  by Margaret Oliphant

Set in the Bourgogne region of France, this darkly powerful Gothic fantasy recounts the events that unfold when a city is besieged by the returning dead. The citizens are driven outside their walls when the dead invade their city, reminding the people of the importance of spirituality and faith over material things. A Beleaguered City is seen as significant in the histories of both science fiction and fantasy writing because it employs the techniques of speculative fiction to examine issues that had traditionally been in the realm of religion.
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