A monastic shocker of sex and slaughter, The Abbess is a tale about the unspeakable agonies of medieval torture perpetrated in dank, subterranean burial chambers. Maddalena Rosa and Marcello Porta fight against the dark schemes and direful machinations of secret enemies and menacing parents in tale of love and passion, where nothing is as it seems. And amid the hungry rats and the well-used racks, amid the restraining chain and shackle poles, amid the thumb screws and branding irons is the sadistic and sexually-insatiable architect of this house of horrors- Vittoria Bracciano, otherwise known as The Abbess!!! Zittaw's edition includes a preface by the Gothic Novel specialist Benjamin F. Fisher and an introduction and notes by W.H. Ireland scholar Jeffrey Kahan, who suggests that Ireland's first Gothic was in many ways an extension of his Shakespeare forgeries.