New-York: Published by Maria Monk, and Sold by Booksellers Generally, 1836. First edition thus. 12mo, original embossed rose cloth, printed paper label, 376 pages. Folding frontis plan and view of the nunnery. Spine cracking along the joints near the head; cloth faded, a bit rubbed and soiled; some toning; a good, sound copy. Item #19110
An expanded edition of this best-selling piece of anti-Catholic scurrility, purporting to give a first-hand account of the supposed sexual abuse of a Canadian nun by Catholic clerics, published the same year as the first edition of 231 pages; per JoAnn Castagna’s article on Monk in the American National Biography, “The story told in Awful Disclosures draws on familiar anti-Catholic tropes and myths and includes enough salacious material that the Kinsey Institute collection identifies it as the first pornographic text published in America” (not true, of course—but certainly it was one of the most widely published). Monk had troubles enough without clerical abuse, coming to New York unmarried and with a new baby, on the run from a Magdalen asylum in Montreal and susceptible to exploitation by the Nativist activists of New York. This edition not noted in McCorison’s Risqué Literature Published in America Before 1877 (noting four other editions of Maria Monk titles); American Imprints 39024.