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The Monk; a romance (English Edition)
 
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The Monk; a romance (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

M. G. (Matthew Gregory) Lewis

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Biographie de l'auteur

Matthew Lewis was an English novelist and dramatist, often referred to as “Monk” Lewis, because of the success of his classic Gothic novel, The Monk. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. Matthew Lewis served as attaché to the British embassy at The Hague and was a member of Parliament from 1796 to 1802. Matthew Lewis wrote The Monk when he was only 19 years old.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 516 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 375 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1613824122
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0082Z4YHK
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  92 commentaires
65 internautes sur 66 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The most influential of the Gothic horror novels 20 février 2003
Par Daniel Jolley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
The Monk is perhaps the most significant and certainly the most controversial of the Gothic novels of the late 18th century. Amazingly, its author, nineteen-year-old Matthew Lewis, wrote the novel in a period of only six weeks. Although inspired by the work of Ann Radcliffe (among other Gothic writers), Lewis goes far beyond the sensibilities of his predecessors and does not choose to explain away the supernatural events fuelling this inflammatory novel. The Monk is a tale of human evil in its most vile form; the unspeakable acts described in these pages are committed by the supposedly most devout individuals in society. The Catholic Church was incensed with the novel's publication, and it is actually quite remarkable that The Monk was published at all and that its author faced nothing more dire than censorship and indignant protest as a consequence of it.
Ambrosio is the most celebrated, revered monk in Madrid (in the era of the infamous Spanish Inquisition) - his sermons attract crowds far too large to gain admittance to the sanctuary, and everyone holds him up as a veritable saint walking the earth. His fall from grace is precipitous indeed. Secretly, Ambrosio is vain and proud, blissfully assured of his own near-perfection. At the first temptation of lust, however, this holy man reveals himself to be the ultimate hypocrite, giving in rather easily to the type of desire he rails against each Sunday. After learning that his friend Rosario is in fact a lovely woman in disguise named Matilda, he revels in the love she declares for him and quickly becomes her secret lover. Quickly and ever more thoroughly consumed by his new-found passion and carnal lasciviousness, he grows tired of the ever-willing Matilda and turns his perverted eye toward the sweet and wholly innocent young Antonia. Through the witchcraft of Matilda, he comes to consort with demons in the sacred crypts underneath the abbey itself, giving up his morality and piety in the blind pursuit of actions worse than mere rape.
Ambrosio is not the only hypocritical, secretly sinful church official in Madrid, however. The prioress of the convent bordering the abbey is a sickeningly cruel and spiteful agent of perfidy herself. When she discovers that Agnes, one of her novitiates, is pregnant, she is so mortified at the impending shame this fact will bring down upon her and the convent that she resorts to the most barbaric of punishments for the poor and pitiable young lady. While her crimes do not quite exceed those of Ambrosio, the devastating consequences of her sinful acts result in long-lasting, deeply grievous repercussions.
The novel takes a while to really come together. After seeing Ambrosio in his publicly sanctimonious guise and watching his pitiful descent into the passions and lusts inspired by Matilda, we spend a great deal of time becoming acquainted with Antonia, Agnes, and the gentlemen who love them and will eventually fight bravely to try and save them both physically and morally from their sad fates. The story of the Bleeding Nun apparition is an important part of this section of the book and gives the reader his first real introduction to the supernatural aspects of the story. It is almost possible to forget about Ambrosio completely for a time; when he returns to the story, however, he commits unspeakable acts and profanes the very name of the God he supposedly serves in such excess that he earns a permanent spot in the annals of literature's most despicable villains.
It is in the crypts, among the moldering corpses of the dead, that the most blasphemous acts take place. Antonia's fate is quite horrible, but it is actually Agnes' tale of woe that takes the reader to the most horrific of extremes. Just when the worst seems to be over, we learn in graphic detail the almost unimaginable extent of the ordeal suffered by Agnes and her innocent child - the tale is quite gruesome even by today's standards, almost unimaginably so by those of Lewis' own time. The suffering of the innocent Agnes and Antonia is, in my opinion, unparalleled in the realm of Gothic horror.
Even some critics who are less than found of the Gothic horror genre have embraced this novel, partly because it does distinguish itself from the more Romantic writings of an author such as Ann Radcliffe. As such, it seems less pretentious and much more visceral than the typical Gothic tome. Lewis holds nothing back in presenting his portrayal of evil in the hearts of men and women. There is a love story aspect to the events surrounding Agnes and Antonia, but the author does not indulge in flowery descriptions of love, nor does he concern himself with rapturous expositions on the beauty of nature. There is very little of beauty to be found in these pages at all, and what innocence exists is ultimately lost at the hands of corrupted servants of God. With such complexity underlying the plot, The Monk is open to a number of interpretations, and its microscopic portrayal of evil's power to overcome the best of men and women continues to fascinate and leave a lasting impression on one generation of readers after another. Even in our own time, The Monk is more than capable of shocking the reader with its unbridled revelations.
27 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Stories with the story 26 octobre 2010
Par K. C. Vogel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The Monk is a wonderful Faustian tale. However, this is far from just being about the monk himself. All the side characters get their chance to tell their tales. With each new story you realize when it was done, "Oh, yeah, forgot about the rest of the story." All of these overlapping tales do come together quite well. Be warned that the opening is a bit slow but like in a Dickens book you must pay attention to the beginning as it all gets wrapped up in the end.

The one drawback I saw was that of characters who are so emotionally distraught that they have to take to their sickbeds in grief. Guess when you have money you can afford to waste away for weeks. Makes me wonder how these people would handle the strain of having teenagers.

That aside this is a marvelous read and a true classic. If Faust wasn't already out there then this could have easily taken its place. For here we see the downfall of false piety and the triumph of true nobility of character. Oh, yes--there are also ghosts, murder, and broken hearts a plenty.
21 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Ultimate Gothic Classic 17 octobre 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Matthew Lewis wrote "The Monk" in ten short weeks at the age of nineteen. Immediately the subject of controversy upon its publication in 1796, Lewis was prosecuted and subsequent editions of the book were heavily censored. Coleridge described it as blasphemous, "a romance, which if a parent saw it in the hands of a son or daughter, he might reasonably turn pale." Yet, "The Monk" was so popular that its author became a minor celebrity-coming to be known as "Monk" Lewis--and Sir Walter Scott prounounced that "it seemed to create an epoch in our literature." And whether "The Monk" truly created an epoch in English literature, or merely marked the early apogee of a genre, it stands as a stunning example of the Gothic novel.
"The Monk" tells the story of Ambrosio, the ostensibly pious and deeply revered Abbot of the Capuchin monastery in Madrid, and his dark fall from grace. It is a novel which unravels, at times, like the "Arabian Nights", stories within stories, a series of digressions, the plot driven by love and lust, temptations and spectres, and, ultimately, rape, murder and incest. It is sharply anti-Catholic, if not anti-clerical, in tone, Ambrosio and most of its other religious characters being profane, murderous, self-centered hypocrites cloaked in displays of public piety. And while it sometimes seems critical of superstition, "The Monk" is replete with Mephistophelian bargains, supernatural events, appartions, and spectres, as well as entombment and dark forebodings of mystery and evil. It is, in short, a stunningly entertaining, albeit typically heavy-handed, Gothic novel, perhaps the ultimate classic of the genre.
19 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Ultimate Gothic Classic 13 avril 2002
Par "botatoe" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Matthew Lewis wrote "The Monk" in ten short weeks at the age of nineteen. Immediately the subject of controversy upon its publication in 1796, Lewis was prosecuted and subsequent editions of the book were heavily censored. Coleridge described it as blasphemous, "a romance, which if a parent saw it in the hands of a son or daughter, he might reasonably turn pale." Yet, "The Monk" was so popular that its author became a minor celebrity-coming to be known as "Monk" Lewis--and Sir Walter Scott prounounced that "it seemed to create an epoch in our literature." And whether "The Monk" truly created an epoch in English literature, or merely marked the early apogee of a genre, it stands as a stunning example of the Gothic novel.
"The Monk" tells the story of Ambrosio, the ostensibly pious and deeply revered Abbot of the Capuchin monastery in Madrid, and his dark fall from grace. It is a novel which unravels, at times, like the "Arabian Nights", stories within stories, a series of digressions, the plot driven by love and lust, temptations and spectres, and, ultimately, rape, murder and incest. It is sharply anti-Catholic, if not anti-clerical, in tone, Ambrosio and most of its other religious characters being profane, murderous, self-centered hypocrites cloaked in displays of public piety. And while it sometimes seems critical of superstition, "The Monk" is replete with Mephistophelian bargains, supernatural events, appartions, and spectres, as well as entombment and dark forebodings of mystery and evil. It is, in short, a stunningly entertaining, albeit typically heavy-handed, Gothic novel, perhaps the ultimate classic of the genre.
62 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Sensational 30 avril 2006
Par Nina Shishkoff - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Almost as entertaining as reading gothic fiction is reading

the introductions. Someone is *paying* these

academics, but they act as if they've been forced to

become circus geeks, biting the heads off chickens

for booze. You wonder if they signed their real name

to the article. The editor of "The Oxford Book of

Gothic Fiction" explains that, yes, gothic has a

particular meaning with regard to art and

architecture, but Horace Walpole didn't know that, and

used it to mean creepy and medieval, and she's

horribly embarrassed to have to call it "Gothic"

fiction for the next ten pages. She also tells you

that if you have a historical interest in this

fiction, you should start from page one, but if you

want to read GOOD literature, start on page 245 (i.e., with

Edgar Allen Poe). You wonder what the publisher thought of that advice.

Even worse is the author of the preface of the Dover edition

of "The Monk" by Matthew Gregory Lewis, who says right out in

the first paragraph that this is a terrible book ("It may

be admitted at once that this erst belauded romance has

little claim to perpetuation on its own merits."), and then

spends the entire preface suggesting other gothic

novels you'd be better off reading, although he really thinks

they're all a waste of your time. He works himself up

into such a high dudgeon, you can practically feel the

spittle hitting your face.

I don't know what he's talking about. "The Monk" is

one of the most splendid books I've read in a long time. It

has everything you'd want: A crumbling Abbey with a

monastery and a convent connected by a series of

vaults and caverns that contain mouldering skeletons,

the ghost of "the bleeding nun" who appears every 5

years at the stroke of midnight, a screech owl in the

cemetary, a pregnant nun, the Spanish Inquisition, a

naked woman cavorting with a bird, highwaymen, a

sadistic Prioress, a lustful Abbot, dead babies,

hollow statues, a mob riot and lynching, sleeping

potions and spells, and cameo appearances by the

Wandering Jew and Lucifer. The plot concerns an

innocent young virgin whose mother.... oh, never mind:

you'll never keep the plot straight anyway, not to

mention which one is Don Lorenzo and which is Don

Raymond. It's the nonstop action that will hook you.

It's amazing that the plot *can* zip along, given

that, at any given moment, at least one character is

near death because of convulsions brought on by terror

or love. It makes you wonder about the economy of

midieval Spain, if 1 in 10 people was bedridden at any

given time.

Did I mention the sex scenes? They're doozies! When

the lustful Abbott is holding a vigil at the bedside

of a woman pretending to be a monk who is dying of a

centipede bite, except the centipede didn't bite her,

it bit the abbott (never mind), the woman shakes off

delirium long enough to seduce the Abbott! At least,

I think she did. The writing gets vague at points,

since Lewis can't bring himself to mention female

body parts, instead using the word "charms" as a

blanket noun in sentences like "Through a

disarrangement of the bed covers, he could witness her

charms" or "thus he could disport himself upon his

mistress's charms". I'm not sure I'll ever be able to

use the word "charm" again, much less eat "Lucky

Charms".

Perhaps this is only worth reading for its historical

importance, or perhaps it's a lot of fun: I advise skipping

the insulting prologue by a professor who clearly

wishes he was a fraction as famous as M.G. Lewis

became by writing this book at the age of 19 in ten

weeks in 1795.
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