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A novel by M. G. Lewis, published 1796.

Ambrosio, the worthy superior of the Capuchins of Madrid, falls to the temptations of Matilda, a fiend‐inspired wanton who, disguised as a boy, has entered his monastery as a novice. Now utterly depraved, Ambrosio falls in love with one of his penitents, pursues the girl with the help of magic and murder, and finally kills her in an effort to escape detection. But he is discovered, tortured by the Inquisition, and sentenced to death, finally compounding with the Devil for escape from burning, only to be hurled by him to destruction and damnation. Although extravagant in its mixture of the supernatural, the terrible, and the indecent, the book contains scenes of great effect. It enjoyed a considerable contemporary vogue.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775—1818) novelist and playwright

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