This is the spirited story of a survivor whose racy anecdotes and shady dealings only underline her essential warmth and goodness. But there is nothing sentimental about Moll, who presents herself warts and all. Though her adventures take her abroad, she remains the vivid creation of London.
Moll Flanders, pickpocket and prostitute-a mercantile genius trading in the oldest human commodity-has been for the past three centuries an enduring representative of reckless vitality combined with unshakable inner virtue. Daniel Defoe manages his story with such skill that our affection for his heroine increases with each astonishing sin she commits.
Moll's adventures-possibly taken by Defoe from the story of some real criminal he met in Newgate, who "five times a wife, twelve year a thief, eight year a transported felon, at last grew rich, lived honest and died a penitent"-is told with the directness of narrative and reality of incident in which Defoe, often called the father of the novel, has never been equaled.
(Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)
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 in fact, he became a prolific pamphleteer satirizing the hypocrisies of both Church and State. Defoe admired William III, and his poem The 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