European disruptions of the idealized woman
Matthew Lewis’s The Monk and the Marquis de Sade’s La Nouvelle Justine
in European Gothic
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This chapter begins by tracing the mutual influences which the texts of the Marquis de Sade and Matthew Gregory Lewis shared. Lewis is rightfully accorded a prominent position in critical surveys of the English Gothic novel due to his notorious production The Monk. The de Sade has also recently been afforded a great deal of critical and biographical attention. In all, The Monk offers the following three core models of femininity that are both indebted to previous literary representations and intended to disrupt them: Antonia, Agnes and Matilda. Besides locational and atmospheric resemblances, there are also clear thematic parallels between Justine, ou les malheurs de la vertu, The Monk, and de Sade's subsequent La Nouvelle Justine. The chapter concludes by charting the reciprocity of themes and ideas between Lewis and de Sade.

European Gothic

A spirited exchange 1760-1960

Editor: Avril Horner
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