During these travels, he began to write plays and worked on translations. Finding the Dutch capital exceedingly dull, Lewis passed his time in writing The Monk, which was published in London anonymously in the spring of 1796. The novel is the story of a monk, Ambrosio, who is initiated into a life of depravity by Matilda, a woman who has disguised herself as a man to gain entrance to the monastery. It was published 200 years ago. Series: Oxford World's Classics; Read 1,654 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The story’s violence and sexual content made it one of the era’s best-selling and most influential novels. The novel was immediately successful but extremely controversial, with critics objecting to the book’s … Savaged by critics for its supposed profanity and obscenity, and bought in large numbers by readers eager to see whether it lived up to its lurid reputation, The Monk became a succès de scandale when it was published in 1796 – not least because its author was a member of parliament and only twenty years old. Emma McEvoy is a Lecturer at Goldsmith's College. The Monk book. Simon Brett, The Sunday Times About the Author. It recounts the diabolical decline of Ambrosio, a Capuchin superior, who succumbs first to … Read 1,654 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The title-page only carried Lewis’s initials, rather than his full name, but the first reviews were – somewhat surprisingly given the content – favourable. In 1794, Lewis’s father helped to secure him a post at the British embassy at The Hague. The Monk is a stunning read. When The Monk was first published in 1795, it was received well by readers and reviewers … The Monk, Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis, published in 1796. The Monk first became widely available in an edition published by Joseph Bell in 1796. Product details. The Monk book. I hope this article is not the only celebration of that bicentenary.'