The Monk - Christopher MacLachlan, Matthew Gregory Lewis

This amazing masterpiece of Gothic romance was written in 1796 by a 19 year old. Pre-dating Edgar Allan Poe, it conjures a dark world of catacombs, shrouded figures and death. The language and style of the period may take a bit of getting used to, but it is well worth sticking with.


There are several stories incorporated into the main thread - that of the gradual temptation of the Monk and his descent into rape,Incest,murder and finally selling his soul to the devil. The ghostly tale of the Bleeding Nun and the exorcism by the Wandering Jew stands up to anything in a script from Supernatural and the final prolonged death of the Monk involving insects is pure schlock horror.


It must have been truly shocking in its day to the sensibilities of the genteel reader and some of it is pretty toe curling today.