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Left at a monastery as a baby, Ambrosio grew up to be a cruel and stern monk, renowned for his sermons and piety. When a nun named Agnes goes to Ambrosio for the sacrament of confession, she admits that she is pregnant after having a long love affair with a man named Raymond. Though admissions told in confession are meant to be kept in confidence, Ambrosio turns Agnes over to the authorities in her convent for punishment. Without a trace of guilt or a second thought, Ambrosio returns to his normal life after this, unaware that he was soon to get himself into a situation that would make him empathize with Agnes. Meanwhile, Raymond, Agnes’ lover, is confronted by her brother, who is angry that Raymond played a part in his sister’s tarnished reputation. In order to earn support and sympathy, Raymond tells he and Agnes’ elaborate love story, challenging the society’s reaction to their relationship and pregnancy. Ambrosio, however, is unaware of this, nor does he think about it after he meets a beautiful woman named Matilda. Overcome with lust, Ambrosio begins an illicit affair with Matilda, breaking his vow of celibacy. Though he considers ending things with Matilda, Ambrosio finds himself addicted to her company, as Matilda helps satiate his every desire. As their relationship unfolds, however, Ambrosio finds himself longing for more and more. Committing crimes, harming others, and relying on supernatural help, the once virtuous monk is now running out of time to repent.
M.G Lewis’ The Monk: A Romance was one of the best-selling novels of its era. With romance, crime, supernatural beings, and near-death experiences, this gothic horror is a gripping and haunting narrative that has remained compelling even to modern audiences. Featuring the depiction of taboo topics, social commentary, and themes of religion and temptation, The Monk: A Romance is as introspective as it is eerie.
This edition of The Monk: A Romance by M.G Lewis is now presented with a new, eye-catching cover design and is printed in a stylish font, making it both accessible and contemporary.