James Hogg: The Spy; Being a Periodical Paper of Literary Amusement and Instruction

(1175 words)
  • Wendy Hunter (University of Sheffield)

The Spy was an eight-page weekly periodical that ran for fifty two issues from 1 September 1810, each costing four-pence. It was published in Edinburgh by James Robertson, who specialised in producing chapbooks and low priced booklets. He had been approached with the idea of a periodical by James Hogg, the “Ettrick Shepherd”, who had recently moved to Edinburgh with aspirations of becoming a professional literary man. Hogg is best known today for his Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), but an early foretaste of the demonic Gil-Martin is glimpsed in the persona of the “Spy”: “I am wholly intent on the behaviour of other people […] a Spy upon the manners, customs, and particular …

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Hunter, Wendy. "The Spy; Being a Periodical Paper of Literary Amusement and Instruction". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 June 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7814, accessed 27 September 2016.]