‘Few could sustain the glance of his eye, at once fiery and penetrating’ Savaged by critics for its supposed profanity and obscenity, and bought in large numbers by readers eager to see whether it lived up to its lurid reputation, The Monk became a succès de scandale when it was published in... show more
‘Few could sustain the glance of his eye, at once fiery and penetrating’ Savaged by critics for its supposed profanity and obscenity, and bought in large numbers by readers eager to see whether it lived up to its lurid reputation, The Monk became a succès de scandale when it was published in 1796 – not least because its author was a member of parliament and only twenty years old. It recounts the diabolical decline of Ambrosio, a Capuchin superior, who succumbs first to temptations offered by a young girl who has entered his monastery disguised as a boy, and continues his descent with increasingly depraved acts of sorcery, murder, incest and torture. Combining sensationalism with acute psychological insight, this masterpiece of Gothic fiction is a powerful exploration of how violent and erotic impulses can break through the barriers of social and moral restraint. This edition is based on the first edition of 1796, which appeared before Lewis’s revisions to avoid charges of blasphemy. In his introduction, Christopher MacLachlan discusses the novel’s place within the Gothic genre, and its themes of sexual desire and the abuse of power.
Publish date: June 1st 1999
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 386
Edition language: English
I loved the language of this one. It had a deliciously creepy old school vibe to it. Probably on the account that is was originally penned in 1796. Truly a classic and holds up remarkably well.
Dreams, magic terrors, spells of mighty power, Witches, and ghosts who rove at midnight hour. It's said this was written by a 19/20 yr old and within 10 weeks, which if true, is amazing. The format of having a main character, Ambrosio (the monk), and then having secondary characters branch off ...
This amazing masterpiece of Gothic romance was written in 1796 by a 19 year old. Pre-dating Edgar Allan Poe, it conjures a dark world of catacombs, shrouded figures and death. The language and style of the period may take a bit of getting used to, but it is well worth sticking with. There are sev...
The Monk is said to be the archetypal Gothic novel. Sure enough, it has monks and nuns behaving badly ("behaving badly" is an understatement, really), ghosts, sex, bandits, rape, incest, violent mob and devilish pact. I had high expectation for this novel.The titular monk is Ambrosio, a man so devou...
Urgh. Another clunky, lurid Gothic fantasy from notorious one-trick pony Matthew Lewis. The Monk (a title clearly dreamed up in some moment of stunning inspiration) details the corruption of Spanish monk Ambrosio by Lust and Pride. It's a novel that well and truly dispels any illusions of eighteen...