Biography James Hogg

James Hogg

photo of James Hogg
  • Time Period1770 - 1835
  • Place
  • CountryScotland

Poet Biography

James Hogg -whose surname meant 'a sheep older than a lamb but before its first shearing' in the Scottish dialect of his time- started to write after being exposed to his employer's collection of books as a young shepherd in Blackhouse farm, Yarrow. Following the change, he began to make his living partly through various farming projects, and partly as a writer.

Poetry dominated Hogg's writing attentions until his late fourties (when he began to write novels;). A growing enthusiasm for Scottish poetry led to the publication of a collection of dialect pastorals in 1801, and to a friendship with Sir Walter Scott, the famous novelist. Scott encouraged him to write, and he published a number of poetry volumes. Perhaps his most well-known work is the novel The private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, which is regarded by many as the greatest of all Scottish novels.

Hogg enjoyed some popularity as a poet; a fact that some have accredited in part to his background as a shepherd.