“The Monk is one of the authentic prodigies of English fiction, a book in spite of its various crudenesses so good that even after a century and a half it is possible to consider it unhistorically.” John Berryman, from the Introduction
978-0-8021-5107-0 • $15.00 • Paperback • Jan. 1970
The Monk shocked and titillated readers with its graphic portrayal of lust, sin, and violence when it was first published in 1796. An enticing blend of Umberto Eco and Anne Rice, it remains gripping, racy, and terrifying today.
Ambrosio is the abbot of the Capuchin monastery in Madrid. He is beloved by his flock, and his renowned piety has earned him the nickname The Man of Holiness. Yet beneath the veneer of this religious man lies a heart of hypocrisy; arrogant, licentious, and vengeful, he follows his sexual desires down the torturous path to ruin. As we follow his descent into hell, we encounter the naïve virgin who falls prey to his scheming, a baleful beauty fluent in witchcraft, the ghostly Bleeding Nun, an evil prioress, the Wandering Jew, and the Spanish Inquisition in a tale that is a triumph of the imagination.
A true classic of the Gothic novel, The Monk has left an indelible mark on English literature and has influenced such eminent writers as Byron, Scott, Poe, Flaubert, Hawthorne, Emily Brontë, and many others over the past two centuries.