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While Ambrosio's first rape attempt is foiled by Antonia's mother Elvira, he eventually manages to abduct her, and Lewis provides a nearly pornographic description of his success: "He clasped her to his bosom almost lifeless with terror, and faint with struggling.He stifled her cries with kisses, treated her with the rudeness of an unprincipled Barbarian, proceeded from freedom to freedom, and in the violence of his lustful delirium, wounded and bruised her tender limbs.He believes she is dead, and she escapes by allowing that falsehood to continue, becoming a nun, and leaving her child to be raised by Bianchi. "Daughter's Seduction: Sexual Violence and Literary History." in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society 11.4 (1986): 621-44. Even when Ellena (Olivia's daughter and the story's heroine) demands the truth from her, Olivia does not admit the rape, only accusing Schedoni of being a 'bad husband'. Rape is committed and described in detail in Matthew Lewis' The Monk.

Lancaster University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation UK.Like physical abuse, literary violence against women works to privilege the cultural father's voice and story over those of women, the cultural daughters, and indeed to silence women's voices." Radcliffe, although she is a female writer, is complicit in the silencing of the female voice in The Italian.Olivia, the woman Schedoni raped, is not present at his trial, and does not speak against him.Froula states: "For the literary daughter—the woman reader/writer as daughter of her culture—the metaphysical violence against women inscribed in the literary tradition, although more subtle and no less difficult to acknowledge and understand, has serious consequences.Metaphysically, the woman reader of a literary tradition that inscribes violence against women is an abused daughter.By 1753 Parliament was so concerned with the rape of rich heiresses as a way of forcing them into marriage (and thus gaining control over their fortunes and family connections) that it debated and passed the "Hardwicke Act" in an attempt to prevent what they euphemistically termed "clandestine marriage." The secretive nature of this particular crime and its capacity to render a woman 'impure' and therefore unfit for her intended role in society makes it particularly useful fodder for the darkest Gothic sensationalism.The threat of rape has been deployed from the very beginning of the Gothic novel.The remaining sexual crimes in the monk are all committed by Ambrosio against unwilling young women.These are not crimes of passion; Ambrosio premeditates them, carefully employing Lord Hale's logic to dismiss his likelihood of being caught: "He reflected on the enormity of the crime, the consequences of a discovery, and the probability [...] of Elvira's suspecting him to be her Daughter's Ravisher: On the other hand it was suggested that She could do no more than suspect; that no proofs of his guilt could be produced; that it would seem impossible for the rape to have been committed without Antonia's knowing when, where, or by whom; and finally, He believed that his fame was too firmly established to be shaken by the unsupported accusations of two unknown Women." Even in 1796, this argument probably sounded sadly familiar to the reading audience, and they were likely to predict his success in this endeavor.A possible effect of misogyny, rape is used as a form of possession, of domination, of torture and abuse, and of a purely violent impulse against women.The Gothic predates many protections of women and certainly the legal concept of 'consent', but rape in England was a problematic crime long before the earliest Gothic novels were written.