In this classic and timeless novel, we encounter a tale of lust, struggle, and violence, in what became the most famous work of Matthew Lewis. In its day, the novel was chastized by critics for its supposed profanity and obscenity, and bought in large numbers by readers eager to see whether it lived up to its reputation. The story is set in the sinister monastery of the Capuchins in Madrid, Spain. The Monk 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 even torture. The Monk is also violent tale of ambition, murder, and incest. The novel showcases the great struggles between maintaining monastic vows and fulfilling personal ambitions a well as the personal demons that overcome personal virtue. A major theme prevalent in gothic novels contemporaneous to The Monk is that of the morality tale juxtaposed onto a horrific and often violent plot, laden with real or perceived supernaturalism. The Monk is also the first book to successfully feature a priest as the villain.
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