In our first blog of a new mini series, we take a look at the first gothic horror stories. We'll cover the origins, influences, and most significant figures in the genre, casting light into one of the darkest fiction genres out there.
Flame Tree Fiction
It's fair to say Matthew Lewis's 1796 novel is a challenging read. Even for a book so old, it's not so much the language that is hard to digest but the shocking detail in which Lewis paints a saintly figure's fall into depravity. Though religion has come be to inexorably tied to gothic fiction, The Monk is really one of the first novels that didn't shy away from the often disturbing elements of faith, and the shocking repercussions of straying from such a strict path. That is what is so interesting and compelling about this book: how religion, a universal and identifiable part of many people's lives, can be manipulated and exploited into a tale that transports us away from the security of what we know, and land us into a terrifying world of desire and bloodshed.