The Monk (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – 1 Dec 2003
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About the Author
Lewis was a diplomat and member of Parliament. He died of yellow fever on a return trip from his Jamaican estates in 1818.
Top Customer Reviews
Ambrosio is the most celebrated, revered monk in Madrid (in the era of the infamous Spanish Inquisition)-his sermons attract crowds far too large to gain admittance to the sanctuary, and everyone holds him up as a veritable saint walking the earth. His fall from grace is precipitous indeed. Secretly, Ambrosio is vain and proud, blissfully assured of his own near-perfection. At the first temptation of lust, however, this holy man reveals himself to be the ultimate hypocrite, giving in rather easily to the type of desire he rails against each Sunday. After learning that his friend Rosario is in fact a lovely woman in disguise named Matilda, he revels in the love she declares for him and quickly becomes her secret lover. Quickly and ever more thoroughly consumed by his new-found passion and carnal lasciviousness, he grows tired of the ever-willing Matilda and turns his perverted eye toward the sweet and wholly innocent young Antonia.Read more ›
The plot revolves largely around a few weeks in the life of Ambrosio, a monk in Madrid who has lived for the last thirty years without having commited even the slightest sin. Then, a woman disguised as a male monk infiltrates the monastry with Ambrosio in, proffesses her love for him, and evetually seduces him. From then on, Ambrosio gives into each sin and each temptation that presents itself to him, resulting in him starting to rape and murder, before eventually selling his soul to the devil.
The novel is written in a very graphic manner, and is very disturbing, not a book for the faint hearted, but no matter how sick and disturbing it gets, it remains a compelling read throughout, and you will find yourself wiling away hours at a time to progress through this rivetting read. I would reccommend it as one of the finest pieces of Gothic fiction ever written.
The story is basically about Ambrosio, who as an enfant was found at the doors of the abbey, stirring talks that he was a divine-sent child. He grew up to become an ostensibly pious and deeply revered Abbot of the Capuchin monastery in Madrid, a fit in holiness that aroused the resentment of the devil who decides to plot his fall. The devil plotted the fall through the working of a young female who disguised and became a novice under the tutelage of Ambrioso, the immaculate monk. Ambrioso's fall is plotted through out the later stages of the novel as his fight with the deep passions of his body, the machinations of the devil and his attempts at redemption. Anti-Catholic in nature, this Gothic classic is perhaps the best in its genre. I am certain the author enjoyed every moment while he was writing it because the story flowed all the way through to the end. A recommended classic.
Also recommended: THE USURPER AND OTHER STORIES, THE MYSTERIES OF UDOLPHO, DISCIPLES OF FORTUNE, THE UNION MOUJIK
Most Recent Customer Reviews
OTT Gothic novel. Lots of heavy passion and fearsome deeds that the characters cannot live with. Makes you realise that clergy should be free to marry, and too much religion can be... Read morePublished 2 months ago by genghisfan
I was excited to read this book because I was intrigued by the description of it being the first horror story. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kwinko Kwanko
This is an overlooked classic, mostly in part due to its largely unpleasant content. However as a fan of literature, The Monk is an essential read for a good grounding in all the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by writeallthereviews
A masterpiece of gothic horror, you have to pinch yourself sometimes to remind you this was written late in the 18th century, the language sometimes the only giveaway. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Zipster Zeus
I have always meant to read this 'legend' of gothic horror fiction, but just never got around to it. However I'm glad I finally have. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Matthew Lewis's infamous late 18th century gothic tale of a virtuous monk's decline into depravity is both of its time and ahead of it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by C. O'Brien