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The recent adaptation of Moll Flanders for Masterpiece Theater is a book-lover's dream: the dialogue and scene arrangement are close enough to allow the viewer to follow along in the book. The liberties taken with the tale are few (some years of childhood between the gypsies and the wealthy family are elided; Moll is Moll throughout the tale, rather than Mrs. Betty; Robert becomes Rowland, etc.) and the sets avoid the careless anachronism of the movie version released earlier this year.
The breasts, raised skirts, tumbling hair and heavy breathing on the small screen might catch you by surprise if you don't read the book carefully (as might Moll's abandonment of her children on more than one occasion). Unlike his near-contemporary John Cleland (_Fanny Hill_), Defoe was trying to keep out of jail, and so didn't dwell on the details of "correspondence" between Moll and her varied lovers. But on the page and on the screen, Moll comes across quite clearly as a woman who might bend, but refuses to break, and who is intent on having as good a life as she can get.
E. M. Forster in Aspects of the Novel considers Moll and her creator's art in some detail. While he finds much to criticize in Defoe's ability to plot (where did those last two children go, anyway?), he is as besotted with Moll as I am. Immoral? Sure -- but immortal, and never, ever dull. We hope at least a few of the viewers of the recent adaptation take a couple hours to discover the original, inimitable Moll Flanders. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“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 MullanSee all Product Description
wrongly ordered. Did not know that it was a German version as my German is very elementary to say the leastPublished 15 months ago by Thomas Dickens
I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's a dark, sad, searching psychological novel along the lines of Roxana, also by Defoe. Read morePublished on June 13 2012 by Mark Nenadov
I especially enjoyed this novel as an honest account of the Victorian days and a story of a woman longing to be in high society, but not born to be part of it. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2005 by Lisa
I particularly loved this book. I thought it was very cleverly written. I was able to get into the character's life situations and I always wanted to see what would happen to the... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2004
Obviously, this novel is about a prostitute. The writing accompanies this woman's journey without being dry or repetitive. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2003 by Alane Fuller
First off, it is surprising to me to read a male author so comfortable in the female perspective. But DeFoe definitely is comfortable and superb as he presents the 'memoirs' of... Read morePublished on July 9 2003 by Jennifer B. Barton
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe is neither the best nor the worst book I have ever read. I have long been a lover of classical language. Read morePublished on April 21 2003 by Karen Duhai
Moll Flanders was written by Daniel Defoe, the same author of Robinson Crusoe. Although the settings are different, we can see many similarities between the stories, like the... Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2002 by J R Zullo