MOLL FLANDERS BOOK
Moll Flanders is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in It purports to be the true account of the life of the eponymous Moll, detailing her exploits from. Start by marking “Moll Flanders” as Want to Read: The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (aka Moll Flanders) is a novel by Daniel Defoe, 1st published in By , Defoe had become a recognised novelist, with the success of Robinson Crusoe in Moll Flanders recounts the story of her extraordinary life, from her birth in Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the month in fiction, nonfiction.
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The full title of Moll Flanders gives an apt summary of the plot: "The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Etc. Who was born in Newgate, and. Moll Flanders is a story about the fall and rise of a beautiful woman who was born in Newgate Prison. Because of her Book Summary. Bookmark this page. Moll Flanders by. Daniel Defoe. Part 1 · Part 2 · Part 3 · Part 4 · Part 5 · Part 6 · Part 7. Back to Full Books.
Back in London, Moll found herself to be pregnant by her latest husband. She then married the man who had been taking care of her money, and had successfully obtained a divorce he never found out what she had been doing in the north, or about the baby. They lived together soberly and happily for five years until he went bankrupt and died.
Left almost destitute, and no longer young enough to attract a new husband, Moll eventually took to crime, stealing things. She renewed acquaintance with the midwife, who was by now a pawnbroker and leader of thieves. Moll became an excellent and successful thief, and had many adventures, and used all sorts of clever techniques to steal silver and cloth. She was very careful, never used violence, and never let her colleagues know who she was or where she lived.
They were often caught, but she stayed free and prospered, until at last she was caught stealing some silk. Committed to Newgate, Moll was at first unrepentant, though she regretted having been caught.
Many of the prisoners there did not seem to mind their terrible surroundings or their death sentences. Moll was softened, however, when she saw her Lancashire husband being brought in for highway robbery. She was cast into despair when she received a death sentence, and with the aid of a minister sent by her friend the midwife, who she called her governess, she became a good Christian. The minister obtained a reprieve from the gallows, and then a lesser sentence, that of transportation to Virginia.
Moll visited her Lancashire husband and they reasserted their love.
He was more willing at first to hang than to voluntarily accept transportation without trial, but Moll convinced him that, with money, their lives in Virginia could be quite comfortable. Without appropriate gifts of money to various people, they at last found themselves luxuriously installed on a ship to Virginia, along with the tools that Moll's governess bought them with Moll's money from theft. In Virginia Moll was not able at first to acknowledge herself to be her brother's former wife and the mother of his son, now a thriving young man, because she did not want her Lancashire husband to know about the incest.
I recommend women read this book, not for my star rating, but because a man has written what I believe is a true, unabashed representation of a woman's condition in the s. I'd like to know what women think of this book. I believe the abuse, sexual mores, and survival tactics of women in a brutish man's world at the lowest income levels is an unexpected reveal, and though the story drags at first, you may find yourself rooting for Moll.
And despite her licentiousness, she ultimately finds modest wealth and success.
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
She outwits the legal system, prevails to find a man of some substance, and escapes her demographic. Interestingly, she makes no excuse for how she lived; there's reflection, but no real penitence. What do women today think of Moll? Is she diamond or quartz?
Is this image of woman ready for high school English--a discussion for sophomores? Now, Robinson Crusoe is close to my heart as one of my rare 5 star ratings, and the only book I've read both as a child and an adult, with equal curiosity and gusto, producing equal coolness.
But I'm a man, and that was a man-story and a boy's story too. So, if this story is about a women, does it work in the same regard as RC does for men? The writing, by common translation, has all the mile markers of early 18th century prose.
The pervasive capitalization of random nouns, the apostrophe-heavy argot, no break for chapters, and the fastidiousness of complete thoughts for every sentence.
All the hallmarks of what was then 'proper writing. View all 14 comments. Sep 30, Paula W rated it really liked it. When I was younger, I was a smart girl but not smart enough to get a full scholarship to college. My parents were poor, so any help from them was out of the question.
I knew I had to make it on my own. So, I worked three jobs during my freshman year. I worked at White Castle, I typed stuff for attorneys, and I did another job that I have never told anyone about until now.
I was Mrs. I worked for a company that had dozens of Mrs. Clauses who would call children during the holiday season. I When I was younger, I was a smart girl but not smart enough to get a full scholarship to college. I got an email telling me who to call and when, and I called those little stinky spoiled children and talked to them about Santa's reindeer.
I hated every minute of it, but it paid the bills, so I called those little fuckers like it was nobody's business. Making a living isn't easy, and Moll Flanders knew that. This woman did some stuff to make ends meet that took some guts.
She was a prostitute and a pick pocket. She dated men and married men and slept with men who she thought could help her. She was tough, and she was dedicated. Moll was not going to starve. I admire that in a perverse way.
On the one hand, it is hard to believe that a novel about an independent woman trying to survive was written in It is one of the first novels ever written, actually. On the other hand, the structure of the novel is a complete mess, making it obvious that it was written in I am willing to overlook that.
Because Moll Flanders is one of my very favorite literary characters. She is the Scarlet O'Hara of the s; she has backbone. She's racy and edgy. She might have also slept with her brother on accident. I mean, haven't we all? NO, No, and absolutely not, but we can live vicariously through Moll and her other escapades, which is way better than accidental incest, in my opinion. View all 5 comments. Hmmm, I gave this only 4 stars just a couple months ago, when I read it on my Kindle.
Either I changed my mind, and it's really a 5-star, or perhaps the 'x' factor is the narration by Virginia Leishman. She's very good! I enjoyed very much my 're-read' via listening to this audiobook CD.
There was also a male narrator at the end, but I don't see his name on the packaging for the CD book. Interestingly, they included the Author's Preface at the end. The male narrator read that, and also the summary Hmmm, I gave this only 4 stars just a couple months ago, when I read it on my Kindle.
The male narrator read that, and also the summary Defoe gives, at the very end of the book. The rest was narrated by Ms. I had also checked out some physical books from the library to 'read along' with the Audio, but I didn't read along.
I did read the extras in each of the three volumes after. They were good. I'll put in a separate review for those later, probably. Edit - they were: Included on the cover is a 'blurb excerpt' by Virgina Woolf: Hmmmmmm, she may be right. It kinda is indisputably great. Such a fascinating character, particularly for the time, that Defoe created. Defoe is a very interesting person, himself. Sep 12, Pinky rated it really liked it Shelves: Ever wondered what the significance of Ned Flander's wife's name on the Simpons?
Moll Flanders is about a woman that not only fell on hard times, but is a strong, self asserted woman that uses any possible wiles to survive in a time when women were still nothing more than trinkets. She goes from reputable, to the London street slum, to accidentally marrying her brother, to living a long life with one that she loves. Far beyond its time, Moll Flanders is a classic. Hard to read at times, as is most Ever wondered what the significance of Ned Flander's wife's name on the Simpons?
Hard to read at times, as is most of the books that came from the ss, just meerly because of the style of writing can get long in the tooth. This isn't a book for someone to pick up that isn't willing to read. Jul 07, Kelly rated it it was ok Shelves: Largely confusing, frenetic action interspersed with long, prosy, preachy morality lessons, and then plunged right back into constant action again. Defoe's storytelling appears almost entirely random, especially towards the end, picking out one tale to tell of her wicked ways and days, and suppressing others that sound much more interesting.
There's hardly any reflection on character here, if any at all. I'm not counting the times when Defoe pauses to lecture his audience on God's mercy while ha Largely confusing, frenetic action interspersed with long, prosy, preachy morality lessons, and then plunged right back into constant action again.
I'm not counting the times when Defoe pauses to lecture his audience on God's mercy while having Moll pretend to be stricken by conscience by things that seem highly improbable, with outcomes afterwards which seem positively incredulous. He never really makes Moll a character at all, but rather a conduit for his opinions of the time and place.
His constant message is that a girl like Moll could have led a moral life, if only she had enough money to do so. She falls in and out of good circumstances, and is a good person so long as she has the money to be. He does emphasize what a problem it was especially for a woman with no resources, and her very limited options for getting by in the world, especially if she is no longer young or beautiful.
I do give him credit for that. But he makes her so unappealing I mean, all her thoughts are either preachy and moral and obviously from Defoe himself, or justifying what she does, or glorying in her successes. She seems to forget that she has children half the time. She cares about what becomes of only one of them, and seems to disregard the other, oh.. She doesn't seem to care for clothes, her appearance is only mentioned in connection with morality or disguising herself, she hardly has any female friends, nor do they ever talk about what women would have talked about at the time.
There's no convincing woman in there. Anybody interested in the history of the novel or inspirations for James Joyce. This, of course, was called an actual memoir when it was published. Today's novelists should take note: The first novels definitely were meant to deceive the public into thinking they were true stories. The Norton Critical Edition I read in college was one soild paragraph.
This means Defoe didn't get an effect out of the LOOK of his prose, unless an effect of incredible suffocation was intentional.
The fact that it was one paragraph drove me insane, as it did my elder brother, who, upon hearing This, of course, was called an actual memoir when it was published. The fact that it was one paragraph drove me insane, as it did my elder brother, who, upon hearing I had read it, said, "Oh, my God.
It was one paragraph! It's frightening, funny and tragic. No need to ignore the fact that both characters share the first four letters of their names. Moll Flanders is not a very likeable woman, but she is a survivor and her escapades are well worth taking in. Take her home. Jun 25, Cass rated it really liked it Shelves: I finally finished reading Moll Flanders, and I loved it.
I have heard such negative reviews about this book. I have heard it said that the heroine is not likeable. She is painted as a whore and a thief.
I came away with an entirely different view. Her character hooked me from the start. A beautiful and skillful woman, she is intelligent but unworldly. She meets with great success in the beginning of the book due to her own personal accomplishments, aspirations, and personality. She takes what lit I finally finished reading Moll Flanders, and I loved it. She takes what little she has and uses it as best she can.
She keeps running into bad luck which she works hard to overcome. I just adored her. I love everything about the book. This isn't pulp fiction. I was recently inspired listening to a cambridge professor on the radio commenting on the idea of reading for fun.
He criticised the idea that we read pulp fiction for fun, and suggested that we should read good novels for fun, he suggested Anna Karenina etc. The idea struck home with me, these are well written and highly enjoyable pieces of literature, why are they often considered too hard.
I read Anne Karenina recently and found it fabulous, it blew me away.
There was also a selected bibliography. The others were a Heritage Press hardback edition favorite , and a Penguin Classics paperback edition. None of these were my first read-thru, that was the Kindle edition. The book included an afterward by Regina Barreca.
Her afterward was primarily about the character of Moll, and how unusual she was for her day, and likened her to Robinson Crusoe, from Defoe's most famous book, and also to Defoe himself. Barreca said Moll was a female hero, rather than a typical heroine, more common in later literature: Afterward by Rebecca Barreca Clearly Defoe created a character straight from his dissident heart, one who accepts responsibility for her redemption or her ruin. Unlike the fainting, gasping suicide-prone heroines whose bodies will lie decorously strewn across the later literary landscape -- such as Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, Gustave Flaubert's Emma Bovary, and Edith Wharton's Lily Bart -- Moll gets her way without losing her life, and loses her maidenhead without losing her head.
She can instead be placed quite cheerfully in the company of later female heroes who will succeed in commanding the acceptance of the world, which would peremptorily reject them for no reason beside the luckless station of their births: Like them, Moll is no Cinderella: And luckily she needs no outside agency because she manages quite well on her own.
Moll does not wait for rescue or redemption but is instead resolved to create her own destiny Aug 25, Jim rated it it was amazing. Amusing, picaresque portrait of an unsrupulous antiherione the narrator in 17th century England and America.
She lies, she steals, she whores - whatever it takes. I, and I suspect she, lost track of how many children she has by an assortment of fathers, but no matter. The fact that there are no separate chapters may daunt some, but her amoral, approach to all her conflicts is most satisfing and you root for her to succeed. Last year I described this book as being like a big gushy Cinnabon, sweet, sticky, and cloying. I love it to bits, but it does make me feel like I need to wash, or something.
Sep 08, Natalie Monroe rated it liked it Shelves: Surprisingly feminist for the 18th century. The Novel. I read this book as part of a reading project I have undertaken with some other nerdy friends in which we read The Novel: A Biography and some of the other texts referenced by Schmidt. I have long said, "Oh, yeah, I've read Moll Flanders!
Now that I actually have read Moll Flanders , I can't seem to recall ever reading this story before. I think the reality was I borrowed a friend's copy of Stephen Crane's Maggie: I can't apologize enough for my memory - it sucks. The best I can reason is both novels are about women whose first names begin with the letter M. Yep, welcome to my head, folks. I do remember without a doubt watching a movie version of Moll Flanders.
It was this one with Alex Kingston. Yes, Doctor Who-fans, you may know her as River Song. Before she was River Song, she took her clothes off in a movie version of Moll Flanders. You're welcome. The sad part is I don't even remember why we watched the movie in college if we didn't read the book.
Having just read Defoe's Robinson Crusoe , I will say that there's more engaging activity in Crusoe, which is funny to say because a large part of that book involves Crusoe tromping around the jungle talking about the Bible and stuff. But Moll herself I hate to sound like I'm victim-blaming here, but she got involved in some very frustrating encounters that were hard to read because you just want to shake the shit out of her. But there is some sexy stuff, whereas there's no sex in Crusoe since it's primarily just him and a bird on an island.
What he does with the bird in his spare time is between them. I wanted to like this story more, but it's not all that exciting to read through all the various things Moll goes through from birth to adulthood. She didn't have an easy life by any stretch of the imagination, but she also wasn't stuck on an island, where I think she may have actually benefited.
Anyway, it's fine, and if memory serves hah, not-bloody-likely , I liked this story more than Stephen Crane's Maggie Here's the thing, y'all. I'm not afraid to enjoy old books, wordy prose, or unlikable protagonists.
The Mysteries of Udolpho. Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The Turn of the Screw. Madame Bovary. One of her husbands, she learned to her horror, was her brother, by whom she had several children.
Her fear of poverty led her to commit many criminal acts. However, even when she had obtained a large store of cash and goods, she continued stealing. Her ingenious disguises helped her evade prison for many years, in spite of the fact that a number of her accomplices were caught and hanged or transported to the colonies. Moll's heart hardened as she continued to escape arrest. Greed drove her on until she became known as the richest thief in London. Her "governess," who was at one time Moll's midwife, became her partner-in-crime and guided her criminal activities.
She later grew penitent and devout and remained Moll's loyal friend for many years. When Moll became less cautious, she was finally captured and taken to Newgate Prison where she was taunted by the other prisoners.
Moll repented momentarily as she confessed her crimes to her spiritual adviser, a minister sent by the governess.But Defoe is an odd man, writing an odd book, at once exploitative, presumably profitable, anonymous and free of any responsibility for the outward ripple of feminine blameworthiness and culpability that it certainly narrates.
However, there was no such support in England which in a way doesn't surprise me when we compare England to the continent today. One of her husbands, she learned to her horror, was her brother, by whom she had several children. Hmmmmmm, she may be right. Was this a good read? The others were a Heritage Press hardback edition favorite , and a Penguin Classics paperback edition.