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The Monk: A Romance is a Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis, published in 1796. A quickly written book from early in Lewis's career (in one letter he claimed to have written it in ten weeks, but other correspondence suggests that he had at least started it, or something similar, a couple of years earlier), it was published before he turned twenty. It is a prime example of the male Gothic that specialises in the aspect of horror. Its convoluted and scandalous plot has made it one of the most important Gothic novels of its time, often imitated and adapted for the stage and the screen.The Monk is remembered for being one of the more lurid and "transgressive" of Gothic novels. It is also the first book to feature a priest as the villain.The story concerns Ambrosio - a pious, well-respected monk in Spain - and his violent downfall.