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The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

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The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

by James Hogg

Genre: Comedy, Comic Horror, Suspense
Format of Original Source: Novella
Recommended Adaptation Length: Two Hours

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising


The two dames had a restless and hideous night. Sleep came not to their relief, for their conversation was wholly about the dead, who seemed to be alive, and their minds were wandering and groping in a chaos of mystery. “Did you attend to his corpse, and know that he positively died and was buried?” said Mrs. Calvert.

“Oh, yes, from the moment that his fair but mangled corpse was brought home, I attended it till that when it was screwed in the coffin. I washed the long stripes of blood from his lifeless form, on both sides of the body. I bathed the livid wound that passed through his generous and gentle heart. There was one through the flesh of his left side too, which had bled most outwardly of them all. I bathed them, and bandaged them up with wax and perfumed ointment, but still the blood oozed through all, so that when he was laid in the coffin he was like one newly murdered. My brave, my generous young master. He was always as a son to me, and no son was ever more kind or more respectful to a mother. But he was butchered–he was cut off from the earth ere he had well reached to manhood–most barbarously and unfairly slain. And how is it, how can it be, that we again see him here, walking arm in arm with his murderer?”


On Irvine Welsh’s list of Best Books.  Welsh writes: “Hogg’s 1824 novel about a man betwitched into committing murder starts as satire and evolves into a gothic horror story.  Al religious fundamentalists should read this hilarious tale of religious derangement.  But they won’t, as they tend to read only one book, and not very well.”


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