James Hogg was a Scottish farmer who, despite a lack of formal education, became a writer. Due to his rustic background he was known as 'the Ettrick Shepherd'.
Today Hogg is best remembered for his book 'Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner', published by Longman. Although it is now widely considered a classic, during Hogg's lifetime it did not enjoy critical success and had very few sales.
Hogg's relationship with Murray
Hogg's works were published by many different publishers, including Archibald Constable, Oliver & Boyd, and William Blackwood & Sons, as well as John Murray.
Murray published Hogg's poetry 'The Pilgrims of the Sun' (1815) and 'The Queen's Wake' (jointly with William Blackwood & Sons) (1813). Hogg became part of Murray's literary circle, which included Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott.
'The Pilgrims of the Sun' (1815) and 'The Queen's Wake' were well received by literary critics, but Hogg earned only reasonably small amounts from his writing. As Hogg was often struggling financially, he frequently wrote to John Murray II regarding money.
Highlights in the John Murray Archive