This map plots the settings and references in The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

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Beyond Edinburgh

When Robert attempts to flee the persecution of Gil-Martin, he takes a path south that leads him through Midlothian and Roxburghshire, then back northwards through Selkirkshire. This map shows the places that Robert stops off at: (A) is Edinburgh; (B) is Chesters; (C) is Ancrum; (D) is Altrive; (E) is Cowan’s Croft.


The end of Robert’s journey sees him arrive very close to Ettrick where James Hogg spent most of his life. Once a royal hunting ground for the Scottish monarchy, it had since become a sheep-farming district, all rolling hillside studded with farms. The transformation deprived the area of much of its former forest but it retained the strong oral tradition it had accrued during its earlier incarnation. Hogg gathered from this a rich store of folklore that was to furnish his tales, and Ettrick and its neighbouring areas exert a strong presence in much of his writing.


Ettrick Valley
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeEttrick Valley - Credit: M. J. Richardson