Lewis, Matthew Gregory

Lewis, Matthew Gregory,

1775–1818, English author, b. London. In addition to his writing he pursued a diplomatic career and served for a time in Parliament. He was often called "Monk" Lewis from the title of his extravagant Gothic romanceGothic romance,
type of novel that flourished in the late 18th and early 19th cent. in England. Gothic romances were mysteries, often involving the supernatural and heavily tinged with horror, and they were usually set against dark backgrounds of medieval ruins and haunted
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 The Monk (1796), the writing of which was influenced by the tales of Ann RadcliffeRadcliffe, Ann (Ward),
1764–1823, English novelist, b. London. The daughter of a successful tradesman, she married William Radcliffe, a law student who later became editor of the English Chronicle.
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. The novel concerns a saintly Capuchin monk who, led into a life of depravity by a fiend-inspired woman, subsequently becomes a rapist and murderer. Charges of immorality and irreligion brought against Lewis by his critics caused a less offensive second edition to be published. Of his melodramatic plays the most famous is The Castle Spectre (1797). His ballads, notably Alonzo the Brave and the Fair Imogene, influenced Sir Walter ScottScott, Sir Walter,
1771–1832, Scottish novelist and poet, b. Edinburgh. He is considered the father of both the regional and the historical novel. Early Life and Works

After an apprenticeship in his father's law office Scott was admitted (1792) to the bar.
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's early poetry.


See biography by L. F. Peck (1961); studies by M. Summers (1938, repr. 1964) and R. P. Reno (1980).

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