Monk, Maria

Monk, Maria

▪ American author and prostitute
born June 1, 1816, probably in St. John's, Lower Canada [now Quebec, Can.]
died Sept. 4, 1849, Blackwell's Island [now Roosevelt Island], New York, N.Y., U.S.

      Canadian-American narrator of a salacious and highly embroidered personal story that provided fodder for anti-Roman Catholic sentiment from the 1830s through the rest of the century.

      Monk grew up in Montreal. Little is known for certain of her early life, but she reportedly suffered a childhood head injury that led to some sort of intermittent mental derangement throughout the rest of her life. She worked as a servant girl until her promiscuity brought her to a Roman Catholic asylum for prostitutes, from which she was subsequently discharged in 1834 when she was discovered to be pregnant. She then formed a liaison with the Reverend William K. Hoyt (or Hoyte), head of the nativist Canadian Benevolent Association and a fanatical anti-Catholic. He took her to New York City, where he and a group of nativist agitators drew upon and embroidered Monk's experiences in the asylum. Helped along by her own fevered imagination, the tale ultimately took the shape of lurid fiction: Maria had converted to Catholicism and entered the Hotel Dieu Convent (nearby the asylum in which she had lived) as a nun. There she discovered that nuns and priests engaged regularly in sexual intercourse and that the babies born of these unholy unions were killed and buried in cellar graves. This tale was published serially in the American Protestant Vindicator in 1835 and in book form early in 1836 as Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, as Exhibited in a Narrative of Her Sufferings During a Residence of Five Years as a Novice, and Two Years as a Black Nun, in the Hotel Dieu Nunnery at Montreal.

      Benefiting from the rising tide of anti-Catholic bigotry in the country, from the appetite whetted by such works as Rebecca Reed's Six Months in a Convent, published a short time earlier, and from a latent taste for pornography in a reading audience otherwise deprived of it, Awful Disclosures became a sensational best-seller. A flood of denunciations and repudiations from respectable sources, Catholic and Protestant alike, was met by a greater flood of anti-Catholic replies, and sales mounted. More than 300,000 copies were sold by the time of the Civil War, and the book continued to be reprinted into the 20th century. In 1837 Monk left Hoyt for the Reverend John J.L. Slocum, another of her collaborators, and he produced Further Disclosures by Maria Monk (1837). She later lived in Philadelphia, where in 1838 she gave birth to another illegitimate child. In 1849 she was living in a bordello in New York City. Arrested for picking the pocket of a customer, Monk was sent to the almshouse on Blackwell's Island (now Roosevelt Island), where she died.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Maria Monk — A fictionalized engraving of Maria Monk, in a nun s habit, holding a baby. Maria Monk (June 27, 1816 – summer of 1849) was a Canadian woman who claimed to have been a nun who had been sexually exploited in her convent. She, or ghost writers who… …   Wikipedia

  • Monk Time — Single by Alec Empire and Gary Burger; The Fall from the album Silver Monk Time …   Wikipedia

  • Monk (season 1) — Monk season 1 DVD cover of Monk, season one Country of origin …   Wikipedia

  • Maria Laach Abbey — Maria Laach Abbey, the west end with the paradisium …   Wikipedia

  • Maria Angelina Doukaina Palaiologina — Maria Angelina Ducena Palaeologina Basilissa of Epirus Thomas and Maria Paleologina Reign 1385 1386 Predecessor Thomas II Preljubović Successor …   Wikipedia

  • Maria (empress) — Maria s pendant, now on display at the Louvre. The names of Maria s parents and husband are arranged to form the Chi Rho. The pendant reads, around a central cross (clockwise): HONORI MARIA SERINA VIVATIS STELICHO. Maria (died 407) was the first… …   Wikipedia

  • Maria-Laach — • A Benedictine abbey on the southwest bank of Lake Laach, near Andernach in Rhineland, Germany Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Maria Laach     Maria Laach      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Maria de Ventadorn — (or Ventedorn) (French: Marie de Ventadour) was a patron of troubadour poetry at the end of the 12th century. Maria was one of las tres de Torena, the three of Turenne , the three daughters of viscount Raymond II of Turenne and of Elise de… …   Wikipedia

  • Maria Francesca Nascinbeni — (c. 1640–1680) was an Italian composer. She studied in Ancona, Italy, with Augustinian monk Scipio Lazzarini. At age sixteen she published two volumes of music including songs, canzonas, madrigals and motets for organ and one, two and three… …   Wikipedia

  • Monk : saison 1 — Saison 1 de Monk Cet article présente le guide de la première saison de la série télévisée Monk (Monk). Sommaire 1 Épisode 1 : Monk reprend l’enquête 2 Épisode 2 : Monk n est pas dupe 3 Épi …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”