The Brownie of Bodsbeck and Other Tales consists of an introductory poem, a short novel, and two stories. Hogg shapes this collection in ways that allow him to explore the life of his native district of Ettrick Forest during different historical periods. GÇÿThe Hunt of EildonGÇÖ, a story set in the late Middle Ages, draws on EttrickGÇÖs medieval role as royal hunting forest, and on the districtGÇÖs rich traditional culture of oral story-telling and the supernatural. In contrast, GÇÿThe Wool-GathererGÇÖ is set in HoggGÇÖs own time, and is a love-story complicated by issues concerning wealth and social class. The cornerstone of the collection, however, is the short novel GÇÿThe Brownie of Bodsbeck, set during the civil and religious conflicts of the late seventeenth century. Here, as in Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), Hogg writes with power and insight as he explores the effects of extreme psychological stress. The Brownie is also remarkable for the innovative ways in which it locates narrative authority, not with members of the officer class, but in the voices of the ordinary people of Ettrick. Taken as a whole, The Brownie of Bodsbeck and Other Tales is one of HoggGÇÖs major achievements. It is here published as a complete collection for the first time since 1818.
The Brownie of Bodsbeck and Other Tales
Edinburgh University Press
The Collected Works of James Hogg