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The Monk

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Has anyone read this?

I came to it through reading "Northanger Abbey". I was expecting a trashy novel but I was very wrong.

 

Though it's pre 1800 I thought that the language was farely basic and friendly towards most reading levels. (though an age limit of 18 would probably be advised.)

 

I was really taken with it! Some of the smaller stories within the story were amazing! spine chilling and gruesome as well as simultaneously beautiful and graceful. There were actually parts that really gave me chills and parts that were shocking! It's not too descriptive but descriptive enough to leave an imprint in your memory.

 

And yet a few tongue in cheek moments that made me laugh out loud.

 

A surprisingly good book. I may read more Gothic lit in future.

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Have just finished reading The Monk and thought that rather than starting a new thread I would add to this one just in case someone else actually ever reads the book. Considered one of the seminal gothic novels it is no longer one of the better known as books such as Dracula are much more widely read. Was advised to read the novel by my daughter who teaches GCSE and A level English and studied the earlier gothic novels as part of her English degree. Have read a few other of the gothic novels but none have so clearly illustrated the generic conventions of gothic, namely the depraved super villain and the helpless maiden. Can only imagine that at the time that it was written and first published the book would have been considered controversial in the extreme.

 

Would agree with the original posting that the stories within the main story were of as much interest as the main event. Found parts of the book rather shocking and in some cases quite horrific. Also could not help feeling that parts of the book had to have been written rather tongue in cheek although I suppose it has to be remembered when the book was written and that ideas would have been greatly different than today.

 

Will certainly read more gothic novels in the future.

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Cherrypie, it was interesting that you found this old thread and reminded me that I read  The Monk quite a few years ago after reading Northanger Abbey.  I wanted to know what the young ladies of that era were getting the chills about. I agree it was very scary in places, but like you, from a modern perspective I thought the author was pandering a little to what was expected and having a quiet laugh at the pale faces and fluttering handkerchiefs of his readers.

The Mystery of Udolpho by Mrs Radcliffe, another of those novels popular at the time, is quite entertaining and I found it better written than The Monk and marginally more believable. It does have a remote mountain castle, an evil villain, hidden rooms, long corridors, strange sounds and so on. But the heroine was fairly spunky and inevitably good triumphs over all. When I read some of these older novels I try to imagine how the original readers were feeling, the women of those eras had such terribly boring and constricted lives I guess they deserved some amazing imagination and thrills. :scared:

 

ETA  just realised there is more discussion of Gothic novels and their relevance on this actual thread  Northanger Abbey .

Edited by grasshopper

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So pleased to see that someone else has picked up on my post on this old thread and that it seems that a number of people have an interest in the old gothic novels at the moment. Have already downloaded a number of the Anne Radcliffe novels to my Kindle and intend giving them a try after reading the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which is the new group read. Have been meaning to give some of these books a try for a long time and am really enjoying finally making the effort. Will have a look on the Northanger Abbey thread as although a long time ago it is a book that I have read previously. Seem to remember it as a bit of a spoof of the gothic novel genre. Will be interested to see how I view the book after having read more of the genre than I had first time around.

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Cherrypie, it was interesting that you found this old thread and reminded me that I read  The Monk quite a few years ago after reading Northanger Abbey.  I wanted to know what the young ladies of that era were getting the chills about. I agree it was very scary in places, but like you, from a modern perspective I thought the author was pandering a little to what was expected and having a quiet laugh at the pale faces and fluttering handkerchiefs of his readers.

 

The Mystery of Udolpho by Mrs Radcliffe, another of those novels popular at the time, is quite entertaining and I found it better written than The Monk and marginally more believable. It does have a remote mountain castle, an evil villain, hidden rooms, long corridors, strange sounds and so on. But the heroine was fairly spunky and inevitably good triumphs over all. When I read some of these older novels I try to imagine how the original readers were feeling, the women of those eras had such terribly boring and constricted lives I guess they deserved some amazing imagination and thrills. :scared:

 

ETA  just realised there is more discussion of Gothic novels and their relevance on this actual thread  Northanger Abbey .

 

Hello Grasshopper,

 

Looking for a bit of advice about using the site as I am still a very new member and navigating my way around it. 

 

Just curious as to how you picked up my post on what was an old thread, as mine was the first reply to a four year old topic.  When I have come across anything anywhere near current it has been rather by accident than design!  Have found the postings on the opening forums page which seems to have some up to date posting.  Did you just see mine in the pre 1900 fiction section or is there somewhere else on the site that I could be checking daily to see recent postings?  Any hints and tips on using the site greatly appreciated.

 

I followed your link to Northanger Abbey and enjoyed reading the old postings on gothic novels. 

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Looking for a bit of advice about using the site as I am still a very new member and navigating my way around it. 

 

Just curious as to how you picked up my post on what was an old thread, as mine was the first reply to a four year old topic.  When I have come across anything anywhere near current it has been rather by accident than design!  Have found the postings on the opening forums page which seems to have some up to date posting.  Did you just see mine in the pre 1900 fiction section or is there somewhere else on the site that I could be checking daily to see recent postings?  Any hints and tips on using the site greatly appreciated.

 

I followed your link to Northanger Abbey and enjoyed reading the old postings on gothic novels. 

So glad you have asked, cherrypie, there is a much easier easy to find the latest postings than having to check the dates on the main opening page.

 

Go to the top right hand corner of the page and on the dark blue line there are the words "View new content" if you click on that  it will open up all the new postings with the newest at the top , so you can see straight away what are the latest ones or others you may have missed.   On the left hand side of that page, under pink headings,  you can choose how many you want displayed by time period  (24 hours, week, past 2 weeks, a month, 6 months or a year) or even by member if you are wanting to follow a particular person's posts.

 

I tend to go straight into that way of viewing new content  all the time and pop in a couple of times a day either on my phone or the computer just to see who has posted something new. As I am on a different time to most of the other posters, who are mainly UK, it is useful when I wake up to see what's been going on when I am asleep. :)

 

If you go the section called Site News and Support in The Board Room part of the main site you will find lots of useful tips on how to use the siteand problems or queries other people have brought forward, have a look through and play around a bit to get used to the site, but please feel free to ask questions either in SS and S or in Central Library. There will always be someone who knows the answer and will be happy to help.

 

ETA If you want to clear the list once you are up to date go to the very bottom of the new content page and on the left there are words in blue "Community Read". if you click on that you can choose "Mark all as read "and then the next time you come back to the page it will have cleared all except any posted since you were last there.

Edited by grasshopper

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So glad you have asked, cherrypie, there is a much easier easy to find the latest postings than having to check the dates on the main opening page.

 

Go to the top right hand corner of the page and on the dark blue line there are the words "View new content" if you click on that  it will open up all the new postings with the newest at the top , so you can see straight away what are the latest ones or others you may have missed.   On the left hand side of that page, under pink headings,  you can choose how many you want displayed by time period  (24 hours, week, past 2 weeks, a month, 6 months or a year) or even by member if you are wanting to follow a particular person's posts.

 

I tend to go straight into that way of viewing new content  all the time and pop in a couple of times a day either on my phone or the computer just to see who has posted something new. As I am on a different time to most of the other posters, who are mainly UK, it is useful when I wake up to see what's been going on when I am asleep. :)

 

If you go the section called Site News and Support in The Board Room part of the main site you will find lots of useful tips on how to use the siteand problems or queries other people have brought forward, have a look through and play around a bit to get used to the site, but please feel free to ask questions either in SS and S or in Central Library. There will always be someone who knows the answer and will be happy to help.

 

ETA If you want to clear the list once you are up to date go to the very bottom of the new content page and on the left there are words in blue "Community Read". if you click on that you can choose "Mark all as read "and then the next time you come back to the page it will have cleared all except any posted since you were last there.

 

Thanks Grasshopper, I had found the View New Content link and tried it out this morning, however I was a bit confused as it did not show my last posting on The Monk as I expected it might.  From your reply and advice I can only assume that it was because I had not adjusted the time frame option under the pink headings.  I think if I set it to show "last 24 hours" it will enable me to do what you seem to be doing and just check daily.

 

I am not very PC-savvy and driving hubby up the wall with my constant questions but hopefully improving day-by-day.  Notwithstanding that I am enjoying using and discovering this site immensely and glad that people such as yourself are so willing and happy to help.

 

Have a good day/night!

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Quick answer I think this is because it will not show your own latest posting in VNC until you have closed down, ie gone off site or even shut down your computer and then come back and opened up BGO and  View New Content again. But I think what you have posted  will be showing  up on the actual thread.  Have to add that this is a very new site for all of us,  as it was quite different from the old one and we are all still learning by trial and error :scratchhe  

 

Will say good night at this point as it is the end of my Monday but think you are enjoying morning coffee time :)

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Quick answer I think this is because it will not show your own latest posting in VNC until you have closed down, ie gone off site or even shut down your computer and then come back and opened up BGO and  View New Content again. But I think what you have posted  will be showing  up on the actual thread.  Have to add that this is a very new site for all of us,  as it was quite different from the old one and we are all still learning by trial and error :scratchhe  

 

Will say good night at this point as it is the end of my Monday but think you are enjoying morning coffee time :)

 

Hi Grasshopper, by the time you next see this I guess it will be "hope you slept well!"  Just saw your last post before I leave for work this afternoon, again thanks for the advice, I can see how that would probably work now, almost a kind of re-boot.  I have also found the Personal Messenger facility in my profile drop-down.  Just one question about that, if you don't mind.  If for example I took up your previous offer and used it to ask a general question, would that prevent me having to go in through a thread, such has happened here, thereby avoiding clogging up a thread with stuff that probably isn't relevant to it, and other members are not likely to want to plough through in order to get to the nitty-gritty of the thread.  I am just mindful of the fact that all my questions, and therefore your answers are making The Monk thread suddenly look incredibly popular!!

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