NOTE ON THE TEXT

This edition of The Monk is the only one since the first edition (1796) to be set from the manuscript which M. G. Lewis prepared for his printer. The manuscript, in the collection of the Wisbech and Fenland Museum in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, first came to light in recent years in the Romantic Movement Exhibition in London, 1959. It has been the property of the Museum since 1868, when they received it as part of the bequest of the Reverend Ghauncey Hare Townshend, along with a part of his valuable collection of autograph letters and the manuscript of Great Expectations. The last had been a gift from Dickens to his friend; Townshend acquired The Monk when it came up as lot 541 at T. and G. Evans's auction, 93 Pall Mall, on 7 July 1849. The manuscript is unsigned, but comparison of the handwriting with that of letters by Lewis and with the notes which he made in his copy of the third edition (now in the British Museum) shows that the body of it is unquestionably autograph. The condition of the manuscript is briefly described in the draft catalogue of the collection:

Townshend MS, ix: Complete except for the preliminaries and the beginning of the first and the conclusion of the last chapters. On 206 [actually 205] loose sheets (approx. 8 by 6 ¾ ins.), written on both sides (except for 129 and 130, the unnumbered reverses of which are entirely blank), numbered 5–412. The missing portions of the original have been supplied on slightly larger sheets (approx. 8⅞ BY 7⅜ ins.), the pages being numbered 1–7 (the reverse of the title being unnumbered) and 413–416. The MS is contained in a black morocco-covered box case, with clasp, lettered: MANUSCRIPT./THE MONK./LEWIS.

As this description reveals, the first and last pages of the original (presumably worn out) have been replaced; these sheets are written in a different hand and the textual

-xxxi-

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The Monk
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Oxford World's Classics *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Introduction vii
  • Note on the Text xxxi
  • Select Bibliography xxxv
  • A Chronology of Matthew Gregory Lewis xxxvii
  • The Monk 1
  • Preface 3
  • Table of the Poetry 5
  • Advertisement 6
  • Volume I 7
  • Chapter I *
  • Chapter II *
  • Chapter III *
  • Volume II 129
  • Chapter I *
  • Chapter II 192
  • Chapter III 223
  • Chapter IV 256
  • Volume III 281
  • Chapter I *
  • Chapter II *
  • Chapter III *
  • Chapter IV 377
  • Chapter V *
  • Explanatory Notes 443
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