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Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders (1722)

by Daniel Defoe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,772None972 (3.5)241
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English (62)  French (2)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Piratical (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (69)
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Got me top grade in English Literature exam ( )
  Elder_Adok | Mar 2, 2014 |
I read this book for a course entitled "History of Prostitution." In this course we really questioned what a prostitute was, since we don't have very clear lines in written law. I felt this book lent a lot of historical insight as to how women were treated and how easy it would be for someone to become a "fallen woman." It's well written, if not a little dry. It is worth the read if the history of women is one of your interests. ( )
  MooqieLove | Feb 22, 2014 |
It is amazing to me that a novel written nearly 300 years ago had so many shocking parts to it, especially when it was dealing with a female protagonist, BUT it did. The story itself was fascinating and even the narrator, Moll Flanders herself, expressed that those of us who read it will be most intrigued by the “wicked” parts. I must say that her misfortunes are what made this a novel worth reading. Who couldn’t help but be interested in a woman who so much of the time fell into the shocking behavior for the 1700s and even now of being a whore and thief among other things. I found more than once I gasped out loud at certain scenes in the book being amazed at the outlandish behavior that was presented in a story this old. I was fascinated to say the least by this tale.

The book itself is not the easiest to read, the sentences are many times extremely long. This one impediment didn’t make it any less interesting in plot to read. Moll, herself, is not a character that you necessarily sympathize with. Even though her life is difficult, she often states that in much of her life she was prideful and looked for the easy way out of things. She also was not much of a mother to the many children she bore. I will admit that as the end of this book came near I was looking for a tragic ending and not a happy one and was disappointed that things all work out. I don’t know what this makes me, but it does say much about Moll Flanders as a character. Though misfortunes are abound she has much luck and that often outweighs the tragedy.

Though Moll Flanders is not necessarily a character to like, she is presented most often as a strong and many times independent woman. She is also presented in the book as intelligent and cunning, often more so than the men around her. These factors are amazing to me considering the age of the story and that the author was a man.

To see the rest of my review visit here
  dragonflyy419 | Feb 6, 2014 |
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Considered one of the great classic novels, Defoe's book follows Moll Flanders as she struggles to avoid the deadly poverty of 17th-century England. From a prison birth to final prosperity Moll considers love, theft and prostitution in terms of profit and loss. She emerges as an extraordinary character.

This is the vivid saga of an irresistible and notorious heroine. Her high misdemeanors and delinquencies, her varied careers as a prostitute, a charming and faithful wife, a thief, and a convict endures today as one of the liveliest and most candid records of a woman's progress through the hypercritical walks of society ever recorded.

Moll isn't the most proper of women. She isn't the cleanest. She isn't the most trust worthy. She isn't a lot of things. But what Moll Flanders is; is an exceptional character of literature. I loved Moll! I can't wait to give this one a reread. ( )
1 vote rainpebble | Jan 18, 2014 |
Two things stood out for me:
It's a first-hand look at the underside of early 18th-century life in England and the American colonies, particularly the economic constraints on women.
Defoe was a skillful writer: compare Robinson Crusoe, Journal of the Plague Year, and Moll Flanders. Each differs from the others in the handling of how Defoe presents himself as the author, how he creates a supposed narrator, and how the characters speak (or not) about themselves.
( )
  wrk1 | Jan 15, 2014 |
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Defoe Complicates Ethics in Early Novels: Developing Moral Tolerance in 18th C. London
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» Add other authors (83 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Daniel Defoeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rexroth, KennethAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My true name is so well known in the records or registers at Newgate, and in the Old Bailey, and there are some things of such consquence still depending there, relating to my particular conduct, that it is not to be expected I should set my name or the account of my family to this work; perhaps after my death it may be better known; at present it would not be proper, no, not though a general pardon should be issued, even without exception of persons or crimes.
So certainly does interest banish all manner of affection, and so naturally do men give up honour and justice, humanity, and even Christianity, to secure themselves.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
As Moll Flanders struggles for survival amid the harsh social realities of seventeenth-century England, there is but one snare she is determined to avoid - the deadly snare of poverty.
On the twisting path that leads from her birth in Newgate prison to her final prosperous respectability, love is regarded as worth no more than its weight in gold; and such matters as bigamy, incest, theft, and prostitution occasion but a brief blush before they are reckoned n terms of profit and loss.
Yet so pure is her candor, so healthy her animal appetites, so indomitable her resiliency through every vicissitude of fortune, that this extraordinary wench emerges as far more than a prototype of the mercantile mind.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140433139, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:45 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Defoe's eighteenth-century picaresque novel of a woman's eventual escape from the life of immorality and wickedness imposed on her by society since her birth.

» see all 9 descriptions

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