Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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LEWIS, Mathew Gregory, author, born in London, 9 July, 1775; died at sea, 14 May, 1818. He was educated at Christ church college, Oxford, and lived for some time in Germany. By the death of his father he inherited a large property and plantations in Jamaica, which, says Sir Walter Scott, "he twice visited in the cause of humanity in order to ameliorate the condition of his slaves." After the appearance of his first novel he was popularly known as " Monk Lewis." Some of his works were of so profligate a character that he was threatened with prosecution by the government. They include "The Monk" (London, 1795); "Tales of Wonder," with Sir Walter Scott (1801); "The Bravo of Venice" (1804); "Timour the Tartar" (1812); many poems and dramas, and "The Journal of a West Indian Proprietor," published after his death (1834), of which Coleridge says: "It is delightful, and almost the only unaffected book of travels I have read of late years."
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