Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775-1818) was educated at Oxford, after which he held a position in
the British Embassy at The Hague. It was there that he wrote The Monk, under the influence
of the early German romantics. Its publication in 1796 was highly controversial, due to both
Lewis' new status as MP and the novel itself, which many critics savaged for its supposed
profanity and obscenity. A masterpiece of Gothic fiction, The Monk was revised after
first publication to avoid charges of blasphemy. This edition features the original,
unrevised 1796 text.
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