The Monk Vs. The Italian

In 1796, Matthew Lewis published the novel ‘The Monk’. An early example of ‘masculine’, or horror gothic, it covers many shocking and depraved themes.
In 1797, Ann Radcliffe published her ‘feminine’, or terror gothic novel, ‘The Italian’. It is viewed as a reaction or response to Lewis’ novel. It discusses some similar themes, but in a milder way.
An article could compare and contrast these texts. Worth noting is the things they do the same, such as offering commentary on Catholicism or exploring issues of love and sexuality.
They also differ in several ways, from opposing treatments of women and the use of supernatural occurrences.
Overall, the article should conclude the ways in which Radcliffe has used the original to build her own story, and also where she has deliberately chosen to deviate from Lewis’ text. Potentially offer insight into how the two authors’ differing approaches reflect the society at the time. An in depth understanding of horror vs. terror gothic would be worthwhile in building a substantial argument.

  • I've only read The Monk and I found it quite shocking and entertaining. Great gothic novel. I would be interested in reading more about it and the comparison to another gothic book would be something quite compelling and thought-provoking. Looking forward to learning more about it. Don't forget to present these novels in the context of their time and to sketch out the wider landscape in literature in the 18th century. – Dani CouCou 4 years ago

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