The Complete Edition.
Includes the engraved frontispiece and (fictional) dedication and with a new preface by Ian Rankin.
It is Scotland in the early eighteenth century. Fear and superstition grip the land. Robert Wringhim, a boy of strict Calvinist upbringing, is corrupted by a shadowy figure who calls himself Gil-Martin. Under his influence Robert commits a series of murders which he regards as 'justified' by God under the tenets of his faith.
Hogg's book is a brilliant portrayal of the power of evil and a scathing critique of organised religion. Superbly crafted and deftly executed, it resists any easy explanation of events: is this stranger a figment of Robert's imagination, or the devil himself?
'Hogg's enduring masterpiece is a triumph and deserves to be read, enjoyed and discussed by a new generation.' Ian Rankin 'One of the great works on that sinister border between the supernatural and the psychological. Its atmosphere is unique, its penetration is shocking, and the truthfulness of its account of religious mania is both timeless and timely.' Philip Pullman 'A work so moving, so funny, so impassioned, so exact and so mysterious that its long history of neglect came as a surprise which has yet to lose its resonance.' Karl Miller, Times Literary Supplement 'Hogg's masterpiece is a psychological thriller, a metaphysical puzzle and a theological and philosophical maze all in one. Its inconsistencies and unresolved questions are what makes it at once so gripping ad yet so hard to grasp. A strange, disturbing obsession of a book, and a key text of Scottish literature.' James Robertson, author of The Testament of Gideon Mack
Edited and introduced by Douglas Gifford.
The Three Perils of Man is regarded as Hogg's most ambitious work of fiction. The book's extraordinary combination of the fantastic, the funny, the serious and the historically realistic must be unique in literature.
The adventures of its characters, told with the author's characteristically bold simplicity, are many, mad, and breathtakingly fast. Ranging from Galloway to Northumberland, the main focus of the book is to be found in the Scottish Borders. Hogg knew and loved the Borders well, and the book is full of their oral tradition and local lore. In his attempt to synthesise this material with history, romance and the high literary ideals of his time, Hogg's nearest modern parallels would be a combination of Tolkien and Iain Banks.
Hogg's fusion of traditional folklore and innovative style was viewed as an anachronism by his contemporaries, and it is only now that his work is recognised s one of the most original and masterly in the Scottish canon.