Materialism and The Monk

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


In 1796, Matthew G. Lewis capitalised on the turmoil of late eighteenth-century revolutionary violence, and upheaval, to unleash his scandalous novel The Monk. While the supernatural Gothic may appear to characterise his work, there are distinct materialist attributes that permeate his narrative undermining his Gothic schema. This essay seeks to explore Lewis’ Gothic materialism and how he uses it to challenge dominant dualist ontology, while also demonstrating that dogmatic philosophical or religious positioning is ill equipped to deal with the realities of human experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Gothic Origins
EditorsClive Bloom
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, London
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-84562-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-84561-2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2021


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