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About The Monk
The Monk: A Romance is a Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis, published in 1796. A quickly written book from early in Lewis's career (it was written in ten weeks, before he turned 20), its convoluted and scandalous plot has made it one of the most important Gothic novels of its time, often imitated and adapted for the stage and the screen. Newly arrived in Madrid, Leonella and her niece Antonia visit a church to hear the sermon of a celebrated priest, Ambrosio, and while waiting tell their story to two young men, Don Lorenzo and Don Christoval. Antonia's Grandfather is the Marquis de las Cisternas, who was unhappy with his son’s marriage, causing her parents to flee, leaving their young son behind only to be told a month later he has died. Leonella has come to Madrid to convince the Marquis’ son, Raymond de las Cisternas, to resume their pension, which has been cut off. As the story is told, Lorenzo falls in love with Antonia. The mysterious priest, who was left at the abbey as a child, delivers the sermon, and Antonia is fascinated with him. Lorenzo vows to win the hand of Antonia, but must first visit his sister Agnes, who is a nun at the nearby abbey. Having fallen asleep in the church, he awakens to find someone delivering a letter for his sister from Raymond de las Cisternas. On the way home, a gypsy warns Antonia that she is about to die, killed by someone who appears to be honorable.
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Matthew Gregory Lewis (9 July 1775 – 16 May 1818) was an English novelist and dramatist. He became famous overnight after the sensational success of his Gothic novel The Monk (1796). Thereafter he was known as “Monk” Lewis. From 1796 through 1802 Lewis served indifferently as a member of the House of Commons and continued to direct his energy into professional writing. From 1796 to 1812, 18 of his dramas were published or produced at London theaters. The first-produced and most successful was The Castle Spectre, a Gothic drama of ghosts, castles, and murders. Though none of these plays retains any interest today, they established Lewis as the leading popular playwright of his age. In 1801 Lewis published Tales of Wonder, a collection of 60 poetic ballads of the supernatural, including 9 by Lewis and 5 by Walter Scott. Lewis also wrote a number of songs, many for inclusion in his plays. The best of these he published as Twelve Ballads in 1808. The last volume was a small selection of his lyric poetry published in 1812.Review:
"One of the most shocking Gothic novels."
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