Scottish novelist and poet. He was known as the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’, being born in Ettrick Forest, Selkirkshire. He worked as a shepherd at Yarrow 1790–99. He excelled in recounting local or legendary stories and had a true lyrical gift; poems include ‘When the Kye Comes Hame’, ‘Flora Macdonald's Farewell’, and ‘Kilmeny’ 1813. His novel The Private Memories and Confessions of a Justified Sinner 1824 is a masterly portrayal of personified evil.
Life Hogg began to compose verses at an early age, though at first he was unable to write them down. His first publication was the patriotic song ‘Donald McDonald’ 1800, which became instantly popular. Encouraged by success, in the following year he published his Scottish Pastorals, Poems and Songs. In 1802 he met the novelist Walter Scott.
Work He next published The Mountain Bard 1807 and in 1810 issued The Forest Minstrel, which was a financial failure. The Queen's Wake appeared 1813, with the magical poem ‘Kilmeny’, and in 1816 Madoc of the Moor. In the same year he also produced The Poetic Mirror, or The Living Bards of Great Britain, very clever parodies of the leading poets of the day, including Scott, Coleridge, Southey, Byron, and Wordsworth.
Among his subsequent works are The Brownie of Bodsbeck and other Tales 1817, The Jacobite Relics of Scotland 1819, Winter Evening Tales 1820, and Queen Hynde 1826 (a poem). He contributed many articles to Blackwood's Magazine, some of which he collected 1829 in the Shepherd's Calendar; and in 1834 he printed The Domestic Manners and Private Life of Sir Walter Scott.
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