Direction & Orientation in “The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner”

Taken from a paper “‘The Devil Drives His Hogs to an Ill Market’: Direction & Orientation in A Justified Sinner,” presented at 2017 James Hogg Conference, held at Stirling University, Scotland.

Disorientation from the start…

The original 1824 edition of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner is an ingenious work of literary art. One that challenges our perceptions from the very start.

Immediately, the book disorients us, with the Fac Simile reading in one direction. And the title page in another.

And the advisement of the Fac Simile, to “See Page 366” tempts to break us away from tradition, from reading a book cover to cover, and page by page.

Those who are led astray will indeed find themselves duped, reading the same words only in manuscript form—that is, another duplicate, another form of likeness. And they will soon find themselves at a crossroads, having to decide whether to turn back to the beginning, or continue reading the memoir.

Those who ignore the temptation of the advisement, and continue reading page by page, risk a nagging curiosity about page 366 and its significance, as they read on.

This initial experience should tell us something about formal significance. And as close reading and formal analysis can reveal, there is tremendous significance and meaning in the form of the original 1824 edition.

Formal Analysis & Direction/Orientation

Considering the theme of the conference, indeed, aspects of direction, orientation, and identity bear formal significance in the original 1824 edition:

  • Formal manipulations conceal a nexus of identity, belief, fallacy, judgment—and place.
  • And they conjure an illusory, if not delusory interface—in the form of the “supernatural” composition of the book itself.
  • Formal aspects also constitute the “curse” within the memoir—part of Hogg’s clever parody of the “supernatural design” of the bible, and his ingenious literary hoax.

Michael Rifaterre, Text Production

Before we look at some evidence of formal analysis, let’s briefly consider three key points from literary theorist Michael Rifaterre. Least of all, Rifaterre explains how formal analysis must consider the reader’s response. Which provides a theoretical bridge to reckon the productive performance of an author with the interpretative performance of the reader. And toward characterizing a literary work, Rifaterre pinpoints ungrammaticality, as the place where the author’s ideas and the reader’s interpretation interchange.

For if books can lead us on a journey, and transport us, ungrammatical significance can help us find the keys when we get there. Like any good AirBnB host. Or an angel with the keys to the bottomless pit in the Bible (Rev. 9:1).

Formal orientation: western door

For example, on page 306, there is something perceptibly ungrammatical, about western door—the only italicized words on the page.

Granted, this is an obvious form of ungrammaticality, which can also manifest in various forms, from adjunction to zeugma, and any garden variety of rhetorical devices from a-z.

However, this example conspicuously involves altered typesetting, which should tell us something.

If we consider the location of the western door, it appears precisely to the west—on the west side of the page—should we reckon that the top of the page bears north.

If we continue this line of inquiry, we shall find other examples where things west, likewise occur to the west on the printed page. For example, westward appears on the west side, on page 61.

And north-west aligns precisely with a bearing to the north-west on p. 361.

And likewise, the term north-east aligns precisely with a bearing to the north-east on page 130.

But this just coincidence—and hardly a formal scheme of direction and orientation… Because if it were more than coincidence, we should expect to find corroboration in the handling of things eastern, on the eastern side of the page. And we should expect to find eastward to the east as well.

Yet I find no evidence whatsoever that things to the east occur to the east of the printed page. Nor would I know where to look to find such correlations [obviously, spoken in jest].

However, if we analyze all the instances of things west throughout the original book, strangely, they all occur to the west. And so it seems that words about direction, orientation, and place—occur in their correlative place within the typesetting of the original 1824 edition [taken from the Afterword].

Granted, “the West Port” may seem like an obvious outlier. However, there’s a difference between staring at words in an abstraction, and encountering them while reading.

For example, while reading about a character traveling from the west, to a city in the east, then “the West Port” occurs precisely where it would be along such a journey.

Likewise, the phrase “passing east and west” may seem out of place. However, in reading such a phrase, your eyes pass the east—and pass the west. So this arrangement creates the illusory effect that the words we are reading are somehow following us.

With awareness of this formal scheme of orientation, direction, and place in mind, let us pose a more sophisticated line of inquiry: What in the devil?

While we have evidenced just a fraction of the formal significance in the 1824 edition, we have made no attempt to explain it.

Likeness, Orientation, Identity & Form

To better understand and characterize the 1824 edition, it may help to consider how formal significance can extend narrative significance—and how the two can be enmeshed. And as we have seen with the Fac Simile, it is through likeness, that narrative significance and formal significance often interact, and inform and intensify our experience in reading the book in its original form.

For example, likeness as a guiding principle, can explain how the words western, westward, and west within the narrative, are correlatively placed within the formal composition and typesetting in the original book.

Of course, there are many examples of likeness found within the narrative, including references to:

  • the “chameleon art” (p. 188);
  • “the profound wiles of the devil to appear like one” (p. 183);
  • and the perception of people appearing so alike “in every lineament” (p.138).

And as formal analysis reveals, there are also many examples of formal likeness as well, including:

  • likeness through “supernatural” correlations between words, numbers, and their place;
  • likeness through the numerical identity of the Devil (666),
  • and other devilish forms of likeness (like cloven feet)

And since we’re dealing with likeness and the Devil—the justified sinner himself—it seems wise to consult The King James Bible, particularly The Book of The Revelation, the most authoritative source about this subject.

The Book of the Revelation/Memoir Comparison

Indeed, there are many formal similarities between the original edition of “A Justified Sinner” and The Revelation.

For example, the memoir ends with a warning to those who dare alter and amend its words. Likewise, the King James Bible ends with The Revelation—and a similar warning to those who add or take away words, that they too shall be cursed.

“Supernatural Design” & “Twelve”

And words are also arranged in peculiar form in the Revelation as well. For example, the first time the number “twelve” occurs in the Revelation, it is repeated 12 times, as in the Great Bible of 1540.

“Supernatural Design” & “Twelve”

And since the Geneva Bible of 1560, and versions of the King James Bible thereafter, the world “twelve” is also repeated 12 times. And the word “twelve” initially occurs in the Revelation precisely at Chapter 7, verse 5—where 7 plus 5 equals 12.

Also, the repetition of “twelve” spans 4 verses, that each have 3 sentences: 4×3=12.

“Supernatural Design” & “Twelve”

Mysteriously, the word “twelve” does not appear again in the Revelation until precisely Chapter 12. And it occurs at 21:12, which forms a doubled palindrome involving 12.

Textual/numerical correlations involving “twelve” occur elsewhere in the King James Bible. For example, in Acts 6:2; Acts 19:7; and Matthew 11:1. And there are other instances involving other numbers as well, but too many to enumerate here.

Yet likewise, similar textual/numerical correlations occur in the original edition of A Justified Sinner—yet with a more devilish nature.

“sins… by a moderate calculation…”

For example, on page 161, character Robert Wringhim attempts to reckon his “great number of sins.”

If we consider his 150,000 sins per minute, by “moderate calculation,” we shall find that the equivalent percentage of sins per second: .01666…  (the peculiar percentage of anything per minute, or second).

And strangely, should we consider “moderate calculation” in terms of degree, we shall find equivalence in a “second of arc”:  41.666… or 1/3600 of a degree, according to Babylonian astronomy, (which oddly, bears an interesting association with Revelation 17, and Babylon the Great, aka Mystery, the Mother of Harlots).

That is, the number of sins—by moderate calculation—bear a likeness to 666: the Devil’s number (Rev. 13:18); the number of the beast…“who goeth into perdition” (Rev. 17:11).

While there are many similar instances throughout “A Justified Sinner,” perhaps the most elaborate correlation between words, numbers, and their place occurs on page 17—which involves a devilish interplay between narrative likeness and formal likeness.

“Seventeen” on page 17: a most peculiar hapax legomenon

Much like the peculiar arrangements of “twelve” in The Revelation, formal analysis reveals that likewise, the word “seventeen” has a peculiar arrangement in the original 1824 edition of “A Justified Sinner” as well.

The word “seventeen” occurs only once throughout the entire book—precisely on page 17. It refers to the number of hours that Lady Dalcastle and Rev. Mr. Wringhim discussed the different kinds of “FAITH”— the only word on the page set in small-cap typesetting.

Mis-taken Faith?

And depending upon your beliefs and perception, the calculation involving the “eight different kinds of FAITH” may represent mistaken math—or mis-taken FAITH.

Revelation 17:11

That is, “eight different kinds of FAITH” plus “other five” does equal “twelve in all”—if one believes in the Devil. As Revelation 17:11 tells us: “the beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven” kings, and “goeth into perdition.”

Accordingly, if the eighth is of the seven, then, 8 (as 7)—plus 5 equals 12, according to Faith.

A “Leap” of Faith

Granted, the reference to Revelation 17:11 may seem like a leap of faith itself. However, the very bible verse that reckons how “the eighth is of the seven” occurs precisely in Revelation 17:11. And coincidentally, or not, the ungrammatical presentation of the word “Faith” occurs precisely on page 17—and even more precisely on line 11 in the 1824 edition. Hence, a formal likeness involving 17:11.

Also, in considering formal precision, the phrase “nearly seventeen” occurs precisely at the end of line 16—that is, nearly on line 17.

In addition to the enmeshing of Revelation 17:11, the next verse, Revelation, 17:12, refers to kings who “receive power with “one hour with the beast.” Likewise, the next sentence upon page 17 involves the seventeen hours Lady Dalcastle and Rev. Mr. Wringhim spent together.

Also, the Revelation often deals with proportions, such as “a third part” of things being damned, whether burning mountains, seas of blood, etc., and the rest—that is the other two-thirds, or .666 percent—left cursed, (Rev. 8:8). A similar phenomenon occurs on page 17 as well.

Devilish Proportion

That is, the proportion of faiths held by Lady Dalcastle equal the percentage of .41666… And the proportion of faiths held by Rev. Mr. Wringhim bear the percentage of .666… and “goeth into perdition…”

Convergence of Likeness, Identity & Place

Should we continue to consider formal likeness and equivalence, it would be wise to consider the proverbial wisdom of character Bessie Giles, who declares in her testimony on page 102 that, “Like is an ill mark”—citing a bit of Scottish proverbial wisdom.

And we would be wise to consider a similar bit of proverbial Scottish wisdom: “The devil ay drives his hogs to an ill market.”

The wisdom of these proverbs, and matters of identity, direction, and likeness converge at a most peculiar place: at the ewe fair, or the shepherd’s market on page 378.

Devilish convergence at “the ewe fair…”

Here, we find the Ettrick Shepherd, character James Hogg, “standing near the foot of the market…beside a great drove of paulies.”

And should we look around for perceptible ungrammaticality, the italicized words “foot” and “paulies”—appear to stand out.

And even more so, if we recall an earlier episode in the book, when character Robert Wringhim believed his mysterious companion had feet like the Devil—“cloven into two hoofs…” as told on page 312.

Here’s what clo-ven in two looks like, as presented on page 310.

Foot of Paulies

I mean, the cloven foot of a paulie looks like this: cloven in two, like the Devil.

And also like the drove of paulies surrounding Hogg at the foot of the market. But let us not be fooled by superstitious likeness in form—or by a form of presentism, the likes of which support the fallacies of Whiggish history.

The Definition of Hogg

Let us avoid such historical fallacy, and also avoid etymological fallacy and consider the meaning of the term “hogg”—not according to present-day meaning, but instead, the historical meaning of “hogg” at the time this story was written.

Should we consult an authoritative source, we shall find that a “hogg” is a young sheep. And we shall find examples of the term, such as one from 1768. But let us not be fooled by the example of the author James Hogg, who used the word “hogg” in one of his literary works, for who knows what reason.

Let us not be fooled into thinking there could be ungrammatical significance, or double meaning in the word Hogg on page 378.

And let us not be fooled into thinking that a word that signifies a young sheep, could have anything to do with the foot of paulies, or the “Lamb of God” as told in the Revelation.

Have we overlooked meaning in form?

And while we may have found “Hogg standing near the foot of the market”—let us not be foolishly led astray by some wild, proverbial allusion that “The devil drives his Hoggs to an ill market.”

Especially since we may have overlooked much of the ungrammaticality, and formal significance in the original 1824 edition.

And likewise, we may have overlooked Hogg’s ingenuous composition and typesetting in producing the original book—a meticulously precise work of literary art.

This paper was presented at the James Hogg Society Conference, Stirling University, 20 July 2017, by Jaix Chaix.

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James Hogg’s “Confessions of a Justified Sinner” & Word Frequencies

James Hogg manipulated not only the placement of words—but also word frequencies—throughout the original 1824 edition of his book, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

As the Afterword of this edition explains, Hogg also ingeniously used word frequencies to conceal meaning throughout the book. This brief video highlights some of the peculiar word frequencies in Hogg’s “Justified Sinner.”

And the ways that Hogg used word frequencies is ingenious: it ultimately conceals a notion about likeness and identity, and good and evil.

“Like is an ill mark”

Not to give it all away—and ruin the experience and interpretation for yourself—but it’s worth noting that Ancient greek philosophers were preoccupied with ideas about (numerical) identity. For example, how is it that 12 can be “equal” to three sets of four (3×4). And how could they be “equal” or the same, when in fact they are not. How can “twelve” be “equal” to 6+6, or 13-1, or 9+2—when they are in fact different sets of numbers?

And while matters of identity and likeness—such as the witting quote “Like is an ill mark” on page 102—are part of the narrative, yet matters of identity and likeness are also part of the composition of the original book as well.

Indeed, it seems Hogg used this notion as a principle in formulating word frequencies throughout the book. For example, their are plenty of bedeviling pairs of words of equal frequency.

Peculiar pairs of words with equal frequency…

Hogg’s use of verbs with equal frequency in the past and present tense

Here are just a handful of peculiar pairs of verbs with equal frequency in their respective past and present tenses:

used 484 times each

14 times each

9 times each

9 times each

5 times each

And there are other peculiar pairs of words and word frequencies throughout the book, as explained in the Afterword of this edition—the only edition that reproduces every word, on every line, and practically the same place as the 1824 original book.

There’s also a list of word frequency pairs that highlight other “sets” of peculiar word frequency schemes.

In sum, while there’s much to be deciphered, overall it seems Hogg’s manipulation of word frequencies adds a bedeviling dimension of significance regarding likeness and identity—to an already extraordinary novel.

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James Hogg’s “Justified Sinner”: Schemes of Words & Numbers from the Bible

This short video briefly explains how early bible translators used correlations between words and numbers to create an illusion of the supernatural design of the bible—and how Scottish author James Hogg used similar schemes in the form and composition of the original, 1824 edition of his book.

Regrettably, these clues are missing from every subsequent scholarly edition—so be sure to read Hogg’s book in its original form.

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How One Word In Hogg’s “Confessions” Unravels Nearly 200 Years of Literary Criticism

"Seventeen" on page 17

The word seventeen is one of the most peculiar words in James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

For one thing, seventeen is a hapax legomenon—a Greek term for “a word that occurs only once” within a book, letter, or some other written context.

While there are plenty of words that occur only once in James Hogg’s “Confessions,” some 509 hapax legomena, the precise use of the word seventeen is what makes it quite peculiar and significant…

“Seventeen” on page 17. Coincidence?

As explained in the Afterword of this edition, the word seventeen occurs only once throughout the entire book—precisely on page 17.

For those of a more skeptical persuasion, it’s worth noting that the word seventeen occurs within the phrase “nearly seventeen hours.” This may not seem like a big deal, however, the phrase “nearly seventeen” occurs precisely at the very end of line 16.

Hence, the phrase “nearly seventeen” occurs nearly on line 17, on page 17. And as explained in the Afterword, the hapax legomenon seventeen is part of a devilishly elaborate scheme.

And it’s also important since it bears significance not only upon the vocabulary of the book—but the form of the book as well.

Unraveling 192 years of literary criticism—with one word…

In this regard, it’s just one of many examples supporting the argument that James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner isn’t just a “text,” or a “narrative” or a set of conflicting “narratives” told by “unreliable narrators” in a fog of socio-psychological ambiguity—it’s an astoundingly precise, deftly composed literary work of art in the form of an illusory book.

The singularly precise use of a hapax legomenon on a particular page, in particular position, on a particular line, evidences that Hogg’s “Confessions” is not merely “a text” that can be extrapolated from its form.

Rather, as I’ve been arguing for quite some time, by its very design—the clear and deliberate intent of its author—James Hogg’s “Confessions of a Justified Sinner” is an illusory book: a literary work of art, with significance and meaning that cannot be extrapolated from its form.

We all know what can happen to intent, meaning, and interpretation when words are taken out of context. Likewise, taking words—out of their form—can obscure if not obliterate their significance and meaning. And by taking words out of their precise form and context, and not preserving the words and pagination of the original 1824 edition, every subsequent scholarly edition of Hogg’s “Confessions of a Justified Sinner” paradoxically distorts the meaning and significance of the words and the book itself.

Not one scholarly edition (nor the more than 120 editions currently available) preserves the original text, layout, and pagination of the 1824 edition.

And not one literary scholar or critic in the past 192 years has mentioned the significance of the word seventeen on page 17, or any of the other “secrets of the curse” hidden in the form of the book—until now.

So whether it seems polemical or provocative, here’s my argument: most of the literary criticism concerning Hogg’s “Confessions” within the past 192 years can be undone with a hapax legomenon—literally, one word—the occurence of the word seventeen on page 17.


MLA Citation for this article:

Chaix, Jaix. “How One Word In Hogg’s “Confessions” Unravels Nearly 200 Years of Literary Criticism.” Word Exo Inc., 5 Dec. 2016. Web.

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James Hogg’s “Confessions”: A Related-Reading Tool Kit

Related Reading

As with reading most novels, there are no prerequisites for reading James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of A Justified Sinner, or this edition, which features “An Afterword; Revealing Secrets of the Curse.”

However, if you want to enhance your interpretation and your appreciation of Hogg’s masterpiece, consider these related works…

“A Scots Mummy”

“A Scots Mummy. In a Letter from James Hogg” was published in the August 1823 edition of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazinea year before The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

In “Confessions of a Justified Sinner” the “Editor” refers to James Hogg and the “Scots Mummy” letter on page 376 in this edition (as in the original). And in this regard, the letter is as factive as it is fictive—and blurs the line between.

Hogg addressed the letter to Sir Christopher North, which may give you some perspective and direction about the nature of the letter and the point of it all.

Indeed, you will miss out on some splendid significance if you overlook the “Scots Mummy.” And as with references in general, it is perhaps best to refer to the letter when you encounter it on page 376 while reading “Confessions of a Justified Sinner.”

“A Scots Mummy. In a Letter from James Hogg” excerpted from the August 1823 edition of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine. [PDF 1MB]

The complete 1823 edition of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine. [Google Books PDF]

“…like reading the bible and the jest-book, verse about”

As one might expect from a novel about the memoir of a religious fanatic, the “justified sinner” himself, there are numerous burlesques, entanglements, parodies, quotes, subversions, and other manipulations of bible verses throughout The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

For example, on pages 6-7, “the Editor” tells of character George Colwan’s remark about what living a life of constant religious devotion would be like: “…It would be like reading the Bible and the jest-book, verse about” (p. 6-7).

“The bible…”

Colwan’s anecdotal literary comparison may seem as humorous as it may be blasphemous.  As pointed out in the Afterword in this edition, Hogg’s quotes and parodies of bible verses are perhaps better appreciated with at least some knowledge of their source.

In keeping with the historical trajectory and context of Hogg’s “Confessions,” it is perhaps best to reference the King James Bible, also known as The Authorized King James Version, an English translation of the bible commissioned in 1604 by King James (who ruled as the King of Scotland as James VI, and at the same time, the King of England and Ireland as James I).

I’ve referred to a copy of the 1611 edition of The Authorized King James Bible,  as well as The King James Version of the Bible available at Project Gutenberg, and other “random” versions of the 1769 Oxford Edition, without adverse discrepancies in overall text or meaning (putting more nuanced discussions of bible editions, variations, and scholarship aside).  So, just about any version of the King James will serve you well for reference purposes.

“…the “jest-book”

Yet to fully consider character George Colwan’s remark, if we consult the bible, then of course we must consult the “jest-book”—if not several…

Indeed, familiarity with Scottish proverbs and anecdotes can enlighten and enliven your reading experience and appreciation for Hogg’s “Confessions.”

For example, character Bessy Gilies recalls a rather key anecdote: “Like is an ill mark” (p. 102). The significance and devilish variations of the anecdote are discussed in the Afterword (p. v).

And while there are many jest-books, and collections of jokes and humorous anecdotes of the late 1790s through the 1830s that can prime your imagination for the humor of Hogg’s era, one is particularly notable for its popularity during its time, and availability during ours:

The Edinburgh Budget of Wit and Amusement: Being A Select Collection if Anecdotes, Bon Mots, &c.. of Celebrated Characters, &c. Including Many Originals. Containing Also Allan Ramsay’s Scots Proverbs, published in 1808.

The reference to the anecdote “Like is an ill mark” that character Bessy Giles mentions on page 102 in “Confessions,” can be found on page 396 in “Allan Ramsay’s Scot’s Proverbs” which is Part III of the The Edinburgh Budget of Wit and Amusement.

Seeking out other jest-books, particularly those of the age in which character George Colwan is situated, also offer some rather enlightening perspectives.

The Translation from an Ancient Chaldee Manuscript

The October 1817 edition of Blackwood’s Magazine features an article by James Hogg and others that in many ways can be seen as an important precursor to The Private Memoirs and Confessions of A Justified Sinner. At the least, “The Chaldee Manuscript” exemplifies a combination of “the bible and the jest-book” in parodic form. For example, it parodies the justified column-format of the King James Bible and its side-note commentaries, which Hogg, and his fellow writers John G. Lockhart and John Wilson, used mostly for mockery and satire.

A good quality copy of “The Chaldee Manuscript” in its original form is available from the DiscoverArchive at Vanderbilt University.

Forming your own literary interpretation…

Instructing others about how to read, interpret, or approach Hogg’s “Confessions of A Justified Sinner” would be most antithetical to the premise and very purpose of the book itself. So I shall try to avoid doing just that.

That said, the modern reader may miss some of the subtlety and significance of the novel without considering these key, related works—which can enhance your enjoyment of reading and appreciating this literary work of art.

So read them for yourself—and form your own interpretation.
Works Cited

The Authorized King James Bible, 1611.

The Edinburgh Budget of Wit and Amusement: Being A Select Collection of Anecdotes, Bon Mots, &c.. of Celebrated Characters, &c. Including Many Originals. Containing Also Allan Ramsay’s Scots Proverbs, 1808.

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of A Justified Sinner: With an Afterword; Revealing Secrets of The Curse, edited by Jaix Chaix, Word Exo Inc., 2016.

Hogg, James. “A Scots Mummy.” Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, vol. 14, no. 79, 1823, pp. 188-190.

MLA Citation for this article:

Chaix, Jaix. “James Hogg’s “Confessions”: A Related-Reading Tool Kit.” Word Exo Inc., 4 Dec. 2016. Web.

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About the Cover: Hogg’s “Justified Sinner: With An Afterword”

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”255″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”the back cover” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:40|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1479911179254{margin-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]The back cover features “A Scots Mummy. In a Letter from James Hogg” as published in the August 1823 edition of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine. It’s addressed to Sir Christopher North, and mentioned on page 376 in this edition (as in the original novel).

It also includes a compass rose adapted from a 1771 map of Scotland with the roads, from the latest surveys by Thomas Kitchin appears in the upper right.

The text of chapter 17, verse 5, of The Revelation of Saint John the Devine in the The King James Bible (1611) is also pictured on the back cover. The verse reads: “And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of || Harlots, and Abomination of The Earth (|| or, fornications.).”

Also included at the bottom of the back cover is the front page of The Edinburgh Advertiser from August 1 1823, that includes an advertisement for Blackwood’s Magazine.

Underneath, is a copy of the “Fac Simile” from the frontispiece of the original, which also appears at the beginning of this edition as well.

And much like the narratives in the book, each element is both a riddle and a clue…[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1480650104663{padding-top: 25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”the front cover” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:40|text_align:right” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1479911321550{margin-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]While the back cover features historical elements—and several clues about “the curse”—the front cover of this edition features the lettering from the original 1824 title page. The lettering was used to create the additional subtitle: With An Afterword; Revealing Secrets of The Curse.

Another feature of the front cover is that it preserves the anonymity of the original. The name of the author, James Hogg, is not listed on the cover. Likewise, the name of the producer of this edition and author of the “Afterword,” Jaix Chaix, is not listed on the cover as well.

After reading this edition, hopefully it will become clear why James Hogg deliberately wanted anonymity, and how it is an integral part of the design of the original book—and a significant part of a key illusion (if not delusion) Hogg intended to produce.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”257″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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