Past Meetup

"The Castle of Otranto" by Horace Walpole and "The Monk" by Matthew Lewis

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October is "Horror Month," and thus we will read two 18th century classics of Gothic horror. "The Castle of Otranto," from 1764, is considered the first supernatural English novel. It tells the story of Manfred, prince of Otranto, whose fear of an ancient prophecy prompts him to try to marry his dead son's fiancée, setting him on the road to destruction. "The Monk," from 1796, follows an abbot named Ambrosio and his descent into torture, murder and incest. The book led the House of Commons -- of which Lewis was a member -- to condemn Lewis as licentious and perverse.