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When Matthew Lewis's "The Monk" was published in 1796, readers were shocked by this gripping and horrific novel. Lewis's story, which drove the House of Commons--of which he was a member--to deem him licentious and perverse, follows the abbot Ambrosio as he is tempted into a world of incest, murder, and torture by a young girl who has concealed herself in his monastery disguised as a boy. As Ambrosio spirals into hell, the reader encounters an array of haunting characters: the innocent virgin, the Bleeding Nun, the Wandering Jew, an evil prioress, and Lucifer himself. This Modern Library Paperback Classic, set from the unexpurgated first edition of 1796, brings to a new generation of readers a timeless classic of gothic fiction that has influenced writers from Byron and Emily Bronte to Poe and Hawthorne.