The Monk (eBook)
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First published in 1796, The Monk is the popular and controversial Gothic novel by Matthew G. Lewis, the English novelist and dramatist. Written when Lewis was only nineteen, it is the tale of a monk who is tempted by carnal desire and led down a ruinous path of ungodliness. Ambrosio, a pious, well-respected monk in Spain, is lustfully tempted by his pupil, Matilda, a woman who has disguised herself as a young boy and initiate monk. Having first been seduced by Matilda, he is soon overcome with carnal desire for the young and innocent Antonia, a sheltered and timid girl. With the help of Matilda, who is actually Satan in disguise, Ambrosio seduces Antonia, a seduction that would ultimately lead to Antonias death and his own downfall. The Monk was immensely popular upon its publication and was widely censored for its scandalous depictions of murder, sexual gratification, and violent rape. Recognized as one of the first novels of the gothic genre, The Monk is a classic tale of the tragic ruin that may befall one tempted by evil and lustful desire.