Lewis, M. G. (Matthew Gregory), 1775-1818

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1775-07-09
Death 1818-05-14
Britons
French, English

Biographical notes:

English novelist, poet, and dramatist.

From the description of Autograph poem signed Lines -- on receiving an Inkstand from Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York, on Christmas Eve. 1813. Oatlands : Oatlands, 1813. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270591944

English novelist, poet and dramatist.

From the description of Lines Written on returning from The Funeral Of the Rt. Honble. C.J. Fox, on Friday, Octr. 10th. 1806. Addrest to Lord Holland. ... : [London] : manuscript poem signed, 1806. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270593132

From the description of On the failure of her Royal Highness's efforts to reclaim a worthless object of her bounty : autograph poem signed : [n.p.], 1803 Feb. 26. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270593168

Author and playwright M.G. Lewis was born in London and educated at Oxford. His wealthy father had extensive holdings in Jamaica, and secured Lewis a post as attaché at the British Embassy in The Hague. Lewis preferred to be a writer, and produced the scandalous Gothic tale, The Monk, which became extremely popular and earned him the nickname Monk. His innovative use of supernatural elements and Continental themes influenced writers such as Byron, Shelley, Walter Scott, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. He continued to write in a variety of genres, and, although his Gothic works continued to be popular, he never equalled The Monk, and he gave up writing when he inherited his father's estate.

From the description of M.G. Lewis letter to R. Peake, circa 1801. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 64707968

English novelist, dramatist, and poet.

From the description of Autograph poem signed "Albion" : [n.p.], 1806 July 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270591942

From the description of Oberon's Henchman, or The Legend of the Three Sisters, 1803. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754866517

English novelist and poet.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Perth, to Thomas Maurice, 1798 July 25. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270591138

Matthew Gregory "Monk" Lewis, English novelist and playwright.

From the description of M. G. Lewis manuscript material : 3 items, ?1800-1804 (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 709892092

From the guide to the M. G. Lewis manuscript material : 5 items, ?1800-1804, (The New York Public Library. Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle.)

Epithet: author

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000497.0x0002cc

Matthew Gregory ("Monk") Lewis (July 9, 1775-May 16, 1818) was a novelist, dramatist, poet, and, from 1796-1802, an indifferent MP. He is best known today for his novel The monk (1796), though he was fairly prolific. Other successes during his lifetime include the play, The castle spectre (1798), and a volume of poetry compiled with Walter Scott and Robert Southey, Tales of wonder (1801). Lewis was educated at Christ Church, Oxford and traveled widely in Europe during his youth; he was well read in German and French literature as well as English. Lewis had literary ambitions, and although the content of his works--often sensationally crowd-pleasing and over-the-top--engendered controversy, his poetry was admired by the likes of Coleridge and Scott. At the commencement of this commonplace book, he was about 26 and probably working on his verse drama, Alfonso, King of Castile. A decade and several publications later, when it was finally filled, he was winding down his theater career by adapting his plays, The wood daemon and The East Indian, for presentation as operas, and working on the production of Timour the Tartar, his final, scandalously horse-filled, drama. His family had strong ties in the West Indies and owned slave-worked plantations in Jamaica. After inheriting his father's estates and their hundreds of slaves in 1812, Lewis ceased writing to manage the plantation concerns. He supported the abolition of the slave trade, though not of slavery itself. He kept his own slaves, but instituted a number of reforms in their treatment, taking legal steps to insure the reforms would survive his demise. Lewis died of yellow fever while returning from a voyage to Jamaica, and was buried at sea.

From the description of Scrap-book. 1801-1811. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 66274705

Biography

Matthew Gregory ("Monk") Lewis (9 July 1775-16 May 1818) was a novelist, dramatist, poet, and from 1796-1802, an indifferent MP. He is best known today for his novel The Monk (1796), though he was fairly prolific. Other successes during his lifetime include the play The Castle Spectre (1798), and a volume of poetry compiled with Walter Scott and Robert Southey, Tales of Wonder (1801). Lewis was educated at Christ Church, Oxford and traveled widely in Europe during his youth; he was well read in German and French literature as well as English. Lewis had literary ambitions, and although the content of his works – often sensationally crowd-pleasing and over-the-top – engendered controversy, his poetry was admired by the likes of Coleridge and Scott. At the commencement of this commonplace book, he was about 26 and probably working on his verse drama, Alfonso, King of Castile . A decade and several publications later, when it was finally filled, he was winding down his theater career by adapting his plays, The Wood Daemon and The East Indian, for presentation as operas, and working on the production of Timour the Tartar, his final, scandalously horse-filled, drama.

His family had strong ties in the West Indies and owned slave-worked plantations in Jamaica. After inheriting his father's estates and their hundreds of slaves in 1812, Lewis ceased writing to manage the plantation concerns. He supported the abolition of the slave trade, though not of slavery itself. He kept his own slaves, but instituted a number of reforms in their treatment, taking legal steps to insure the reforms would survive his demise. Lewis died of yellow fever while returning from a voyage to Jamaica, and was buried at sea.

From the guide to the M.G. Lewis Commonplace Book, 1801-1811?, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)

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Subjects:

  • Authors, English--19th century--Diaries
  • Novelists, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • Male authors, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • English poetry--19th century--Manuscripts--Specimens
  • English literature--19th century
  • Dramatists, English--19th century--Correspondence

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