So why did I once consider the $900 purchase of a second-edition gothic novel written in the 1700s? First off, I collect antique books. More on that in a subsequent post. But this particular book piqued my interest since it is mentioned in Jane Austin’s Northhanger Abbey, and the idea of holding a copy of the original (or close to it) book that had all of England in a tizzy at the time – well it had me in a tizzy.
In the end I couldn’t justify the purchase, but I did read the book. Well, half of it. Until I started having trouble sleeping at night.
What book is it, you ask? It’s The Monk, a Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis. And if you like horror but have never read it you are doing yourself a great disservice. This book evidently scandalized the literary world upon its publication as it is fraught with murder, witches, ghosts, romance, sex, evil monks, tragedy, vicious nuns, live burials, and even the devil himself. Mr. Lewis had an imagination that laid the groundwork for modern horror, and although written over 200 years ago his book is very readable. For more opinions on the subject, visit Goodreads.
And now that I’ve followed my own advice and read the reviews again, I think I might get sucked back in. This book is worth a few more sleepless nights.