Moll Flanders: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders Paperback – Oct 3 1989
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From the Inside Flap
Written in a time when criminal biographies enjoyed great success, Daniel Defoe's "Moll Flanders details the life of the irresistible Moll and her struggles through poverty and sin in search of property and power. Born in Newgate Prison to a picaresque mother, Moll propels herself through marriages, periods of success and destitution, and a trip to the New World and back, only to return to the place of her birth as a popular prostitute and brilliant thief. The story of Moll Flanders vividly illustrates Defoe's themes of social mobility and predestination, sin, redemption and reward.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the 1721 edition printed by Chetwood in London, the only edition approved by Defoe. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
“Defoe’s excellence it is, to make me forget my specific class, character, and circumstances, and to raise me while I read him, into the universal man.” —Samuel Taylor Coleridge --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The best punch is about three quarters of the way through the book when she is starting to get on in years and is trying to better her position through marriage. He, through her, chastises women who put too little value on themselves. He/She spells out certain rules to gain control in relationships with men and how to best watch for your own interests. It struck me that this would be useful information for a young girl to read today (or any unmarried woman for that matter).
If you are concerned about giving a book to a young girl that contains premarital sex, theft and a score of other things you wouldn't want her to do - don't be. DeFoe presents the memoirs as a warning, a parable if you will, and Ms. Flanders is always repentent. This is standard DeFoe style - and a wonderful story.
Moll Flanders is the story of one woman's struggle to avoid the plight of poverty in seventeenth-century England. Moll is born in Newgate prison and orphaned by her criminal mother. From there, she is taken in by a kindly woman and raised as a "gentlewoman," and thus her story begins. Moll's childhood innocence is quickly transformed as her life turns from that of a simple servant into that of a common prostitute. She soon learns that sex and marriage are merely tools for bartering with, and love is only worth its weight in gold. Eventually, Moll turns from prostitution to stealing in order to supplement her finances, and her life goes drastically downhill from there. Her story is littered with unresolved sin and shame, until one momentous event changes her entire outlook on life and on love and teaches her what it means to be righteous.
Ultimately, what sounds like an intriguing story line results only in one continuous stream of events. Defoe's style of writing, although nicely worded, is impersonal in that he includes very little about the thoughts and feelings of Moll.Read more ›
Moll Flanders can be divided in two parts. In the first one, Moll, being poor, is raised in a foster home, and, being pretty, catches the attention of the elder son of the family whose house she lives in. It is when her misfortunes begin. Misled and deceived by this elder son, she has to leave the house and be on her own. When she was a child, she wanted to be a "dame of society", and that's what she desperately tries to become, looking for a rich man who will support her financialy. To catch the eyes of such men, she has to pretend she is very rich herself, and then all she manages to have are false "gentlemen", trying themselves to marry a rich woman. Even then, she is able to find a man she loves (more than one, in fact), but through a series of bad luck she always looses everything.
The second part of the book is where Moll Flanders transforms herself in a successfull thieve. This is a fun part, where she describes her struggle to accomplish the thefts without being caught and thrown to infamous prison Newgate. And then, the ending seemed a little too sudden to me.
Defoe's book is a stinging critic to his society, and that's why he chose to write in a female first-person, self centered (there are almost no other names in the course of the story) and desperate to get to the high level of society, showing that everybody could be affected by hypocrite puritanism and moralism.
It is hard to believe that this book is written by a man, for he knows female nature very well and looks very critically at the actions of men towards Moll. I would almost call this book feminist, although I don't like to use that term, since it makes men run from those books. I use that term very loosely, since it really does not go into any deeper feminst issues. This book is filled with adventures and is funny and witty, although its storyline is somewhat grim. I really wanted to give this book 3 1/2 stars because it left me wanting for more, not just at the end, but throughout. All events are described in very little detail, and I personally wanted to know more about Moll and other characters. Overall, I liked it because it managed to entertain me and because it's fast and short, it grabs your attention.
Most recent customer reviews
It's a difficult book to read and maintain interest due to the nature of writing of the period. The subject matter also lends itself to a stilted style as a result of the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by dragonworks
wrongly ordered. Did not know that it was a German version as my German is very elementary to say the leastPublished on June 30 2014 by Thomas Dickens
It is difficult to believe that this audacious novel was written by the same author as Robinson Crusoe, that classic among all that is definitely traditional and even somewhat... Read morePublished on July 1 2012 by Pierre Gauthier
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
"Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for threescore years, besides her childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (Whereof once to her own... Read morePublished on March 19 2004
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
I think MOLL FLANDERS is my favorite novel of all time. The novel form was in its infancy at the time MOLL FLANDERS was written. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2003
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