Moll Flanders: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (Paperback)
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‘I grew as impudent a Thief, and as dexterous as ever Moll Cut-Purse was’
Born and abandoned in Newgate Prison, Moll Flanders is forced to make her own way in life. She duly embarks on a career that includes husband-hunting, incest, bigamy, prostitution and pick-pocketing, until her crimes eventually catch up with her. One of the earliest and most vivid female narrators in the history of the English novel, Moll recounts her adventures with irresistible wit and candour—and enough guile that the reader is left uncertain whether she is ultimately a redeemed sinner or a successful opportunist. Based on the first edition of 1722, this volume includes a chronology, notes on currency and maps of London and Virginia in the late seventeenth century.
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About the Author
Daniel Defoe was born Daniel Foe in London in 1660. It was perhaps ineveitable that Defoe, an outspoken man, would become a political journalist. As a Puritan he believed God had given him a mission to print the truth, that is, to proselytize on religion and politics, and he became a prolific pamphleteer satirizing the hypocrisies of both Church and State. Defoe admired William III, and his poemThe True-Born Englishman (1701) won him the King's friendship. But an ill-timed satire on High Church extremists, The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, published during Queen Anne's reign, resulted in his being pilloried and imprisoned for seditious libel in 1703.
At fifty-nine Defoe turned to fiction, completing The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe(1719), partly based on the saga of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor; Moll Flanders (1722); Colonel Jack (1722);A Journal of the Plague Years (1722); and Roxana or the Fortunate Mistress (1724).
“The brilliance of Moll Flanders, and of the best of Defoe’s other novels, is that they dramatize the uncertainty that goes with the opportunism, and show us a world in which, if you can make yourself, you can lose yourself too.” –from the Introduction by John Mullan