The Monk (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


"The Monk" has everything you need for your Gothic horror fix: a lecherous monk, driven to lasciviousness by a cross-dressing acolyte; a nun, desperate to join her lover, escaping from her convent in the guise of a bloodied ghost; a treacherous innkeeper with murderous intent; secrets hidden in labyrinthine catacombs; devil-summoning; consuming flames in this world and the next...the list goes on. This is the non-expurgated version, so be prepared for the rape and murder that has made this infamous book a classic, for better or for worse, since it first shocked readers at the end of the 18th century. If your curiosity is piqued by this twisted tome, give it a go. You're in for a wild ride.

— Luisa

Description


‘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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

About the Author


Hugh Thomas (Lord Thomas of Swynnerton) is widely known for his work on the history of Spain, including his epic masterpiece The Spanish Civil War, available as a Modern Library Paperback.

Praise For…


“The whole work is distinguished by the variety and impressiveness of its incidents; and the author every-where discovers an imagination rich, powerful, and fervid.” —Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Product Details
ISBN: 9780140436037
ISBN-10: 0140436030
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: June 1st, 1999
Pages: 416
Language: English
Series: Penguin Classics