1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

James Hogg

Bernard Barton to William S. Fitch, 28 April 1830; Literary Correspondence, ed. James E. Barcus (1966) 76.



I have found thee a real autobiographical treasure, and one I would not have parted with to any but thee — 'Tis the first letter I ever had from Hogg the Ettrick Shepherd, giving a curious account of his early life, education, and literary progress; his first learning to read and still more to write, and the first stirrings of a spirit of literary ambition and enterprise — I will defy any collector to produce a choicer specimen of auto-biography — such autographs are really valuable, they not only give the hand-writing of one who has been talked and written about, but exemplifying Character and habits and pursuits are genuine relics and memorials of the Man and the Author.