THE MONK: A ROMANCE. London: Printed for J. Bell, Oxford-Street, 1796. 12mo, three volumes: pp. [1-2] [i-ii] iii-v [vi]  2-232; [i-ii]  2-287 [288: blank]; [i-ii]  2-315 [316: ad], twentieth-century three-quarter brown leather and marbled boards, front and rear panels ruled in blind, spine panels ruled and tooled in blind, numbered in gold, black leather title pieces (binding signed D&D Galleries). First edition, first issue with chain lines in each title leaf running horizontally (the title leaves are watermarked "1794" in volumes 1 and 2). "THE MONK is the locus classicus of the novel of horror. It brought its author instant notoriety and altered the course of Gothicism from the artificial terrors of Mrs. Radcliffe to the real horrors of a new Gothic spirit. Lewis combined the machinery of Walpole with Beckford's vision of the demonic irrational and unleashed an array of gruesome effects not before seen in Gothic fiction. Bleeding nuns, decomposing infants, Wandering Jews, matricide, soul-selling, subterranean fornication, incestuous rape, live burial, demonic interviews and erotic sadism are some of the elements leading to the destruction of the Monk at the hands of the Devil himself ... The impact of THE MONK on the development of the Gothic novel needs no stressing. This arch-Gothic novel touched the psychopathic extremes of the Romantic consciousness and created a horror model without peer among the early Gothics." - Barron (ed), Horror Literature 1-58. "THE MONK remains one of the most readable of Gothic novels. While at times it is garrulous and somewhat gloating in its eroticism, it is alive." - Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 1016. Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature 1-146. Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, pp. 264-5. Summers, A Gothic Bibliography, pp. 419-20. Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 1-218. In 333. Bleiler (1978), p. 124. Reginald 09030. NCBEL III 743. Rothschild 1327. All three volumes professionally rebound to style, a tight, attractive copy with clean interior. In custom velvet lined clamshell box. (#158240).
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