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Awful Disclosures

or, The Hidden Secrets of a Nun's Life in a Convent Exposed

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Author: Maria Monk
Published: 1836
Language: English
Wordcount: 102,962 / 299 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 35.2
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 13,979 5002

Lurid and fictional tale of a woman's escape from a Montreal convent, the publication of which stirred anti-Catholic sentiment and discrimination against immigrants.

Show Excerpt

secure society against one of the most destructive but insidious institutions of popery; American females, an appeal to them of the most solemn kind, to beware of Convents, and all who attempt to inveigle our unsuspecting daughters into them, by the secret apparatus of Jesuit schools. The author of this book was a small, slender, uneducated, and persecuted young woman, who sought refuge in our country without a protector; but she showed the resolution and boldness of a heroine, in confronting her powerful enemies in their strong hold, and proved, by the simple force of truth, victorious in the violent conflicts which were waged against her by the Romish hierarchy of America and the popular press of the United States.

The publishers have thought the present an opportune period to place this work again in the hands of American readers, with such information, in a preface, as is necessary to acquaint readers of the present day with the leading circumstances attending and succeeding its original publication.

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.1 from 15 reviews: ****
Paul Savitch

Any review of this book must consider the central issue of whether it is truth or fiction. One also has to consider what a lone woman like Maria Monk was up against back in the 19th century when she took on the mighty Catholic Church and its legions of zealous supporters in high and low positions in society.

The most difficult thing one faces when one reveals bad things about respected institutions is that few people are willing or able to believe it and this is exactly what occurred in Maria Monk's case.

It is quite clear that she told exactly what she saw in the Black Nunnery of Montreal. It is also quite clear that the Church had the wherewithall to counter her story and relegate it to the so-called "anti-Catholic" genre. This trick term has so far proven quite effective in deceiving the gullible.

The great irony of it all is that Maria Monk merely did what courageous people abused by the church have done up to this very day: Tell the public what happened and the church continues to do effective damage control. When will we ever learn?

Jim Dalziel

Having read this book some years ago iam in the frame of mind that every word to be true.While i was working and staying at a convent called St.Mary,s in Dundee Scotland for a week i witnessed some very physical touchie touchie feelie feelie goings on between the young priests and young nuns in the grounds at night.The catholic church should be held to account for all the dirty going ons of all including cardinal Winning who was from Glasgow now in hiding in the wee town of Dunbar.

Julie Burns

This book is so obviously FICTION!.Ihere is no mention of the daily prayer rituals that all religious were involved in. Another SO obvious error is calling the \'nuns\' Saint Whatever. Nuns were know as either Mother or Sister - this applied across all religious orders. There are too many factual errors for me to be bothered pointing out anymore. It\'s a piece of undilutated tripe! I cannot believe that people would actually believe it!!!


Taking in account the ridiculous sex scandals in which some catholic priests have been involved in the past years which have been published in the media worldwide. It does not surprise me what this book is all about. In my country since I was a kid I heard dirty stories about catholic priests. Those who take for granted what this book says, honestly I am sorry for them. They are being squareminded and shortsighted.

Greg B.

I read this book a few years ago and I think it gives a shocking look into the miss-handlings of serious issues within the catholic church. They need to weed out the bad priest, not protect them. How can yo serve God and be an Inspiration to people when you ranks contain Godless scum within there numbers. I think the reports of the last 20 years go a long way to add credibility to the author. Anyone who doubts the book and the author's story have to ignor what has gone on in our age and time.


My dad who was born in 1890 and my mom who born in 1900 told me to try and get a hold of this book,as back then when they were in Mtl. The book was banned in Quebec by the Catholic Church.They told me that tunnels were actually found in Mtl where they discovered many things and I think that is why Quebec banned the book.

Jill Tracy

Ya, and Priests molesting altar boys is fictitious as well.


She offered to show the authorities where these bones were, and where the events took place. Did any authorities take her up on this offer? Easy to disprove if the things she mentioned did not exist.


Um, none of you know much about book reviewing, do you? Reviewing a book is about its quality and interest, not about whether it is true (The Bible: 1 star. This didn't really happen!) Idiots.

That said, it's not very good.


This book is an outrageous LIE. It was written by a prostitute in a wayward house whose handlers wanted to cash in on the anti-Catholicism at the time. If you spread this book you bear false witness because it has all been proven as a hoax a hundred years ago at the very least.


I think with the present day going ons within the RC church that Maria Monk has been well and truly vindicated.

The present Pope (Benedict) had control of dealing with complaints regarding abuses going on within the church before attaining his present position. He steadfastly refused to take any action over this information given to him. The person who passed this information on to him left the church in disgust at his inaction. The recent happenings in the Dublin Diocese only confirms what many people believed...things were covered up.

If its like that today in this modern world,what chance had Maria Monk in the 1800s. Certainly she was going to be ridiculed and scoffed at. Well done Maria. Its just a pity you hadn't be listened to by those good people that must exist within the RC church

Christine Lehman

What I find really appalling is the reviewers below, who insist this story is true in the face of all the evidence to the contrary. Anti-Catholicism is definitely alive and well!


I believe every word of this book is true.I hope this poor nun is resting in peace in the hands of our lord
which she couldn't get when she was alive.Let her rest in peace.Amen

mrs l mcgarry

To me there are questions for those who would doubt that this lady was indeed in the convent as she claims she was.First how did a protestant girl end up there?Is her mother to be believed she did this to her daughter when she put her in a place to be educated so secret that no one was able to visit her? For the priests and Nuns she was able to recite their names. How would she know their names if she had no contact with them.Its now well reconised that the Catholic Church will cover up any sexual behaviour of the Priests and many are just moved on when fault is found with them and this is now.They had control over woman by being sinless and manly nature could be excused.I have read this book and I feel pity for this young girl who had no life and found no peace.There is hope in Christ and the Nuns never seem to find peace.If Maria Monk was let down it was her own family who past the problem on

This scurrilous, anti-Catholic tract was published in 1836 by a Canadian-born woman who was supported in her lies by a group of Protestant clergymen in New York.
According to one account, author Maria Monk was a disturbed child who fled an asylum where her grandmother had committed her.
She disappeared in 1837 and resurfaced in Philadelphia, having deserted her husband and taken up with another man. She died in jail in 1849 after being arrested for pickpocketing in a bawdy house.
In 1874 a woman claiming to be her daughter published a book about her mother's last days and the daughter's conversion to Catholicism!



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