Five Questions: Meiko O’Halloran on James Hogg and British Romanticism

By Matthew Sangster

Meiko O'Halloran - James Hogg and British Romanticism

Meiko O’Halloran is a Lecturer in Romantic Literature at Newcastle University. She has published articles and book chapters on writers including Robert Burns, Walter Scott and Joanna Baillie and touching on topics including borders and boundaries, the theatre, poetic self-fashioning, cosmic ascents and illustration. At the centre of her network of interests is James Hogg, the subject of her first monograph, James Hogg and British Romanticism: A Kaleidoscopic Art, which was published last year by Palgrave Macmillan. Below, we discuss her book in the contexts of her long engagement with Hogg, his positions and his legacies.

1) How did you first become interested in James Hogg and his works?

My interest in Hogg began when I read The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner the summer before my second year as an undergraduate at UCL. The narrative was riveting and I thought the idea of telling it twice from different points of view was ingenious. The changing narrative lenses and the open-endedness of the novel made it fascinatingly indeterminate. It’s a novel that forces you to think for yourself and I found that incredibly exciting.

I wrote an essay on the …read more