The most recent installment in the Orlando Figes saga reminded me that self-reviewing is a venerable, if not exactly venerated, practice. One of the most famous nineteenth-century examples is Sir Walter Scott's review of his own Tales of My Landlord, which initially ran in the Quarterly Review. (To be exact, as Martin Lightfoot argued in 1968, this is a co-authored self-review, the bulk of which is by Scott; the other two writers are Scott's friend William Erskine [later Lord Kinneder] and QR editor William Gifford.1) The review was a salvo in the great Old Mortality battle, which, besides Thomas M'Crie's critique, also generated John Galt's Ringan Gilhaize and James Hogg's The Brownie of Bodsbeck. Unlike Figes, however, Scott doesn't puff himself: he criticizes his own novels on a number of grounds, particularly lousy plot construction and characterization. Besides countering M'Crie, the article further defends the historical novel--especially Scott's historical novel--as a legitimate genre. Overall, the article is an important critical self-assessment--which did not, needless to say, always impress other critics once the truth came out in 1836.
1 Martin Lightfoot, "Scott's Self-Reviewal: Manuscript and Other Evidence," Nineteenth-Century Literature 23.2 (1968): 150-60. JSTOR. See also Jonathan Cutmore's note.