Authors & Events
Look Inside | Reading Guide | Teacher’s Guide
Reading Guide | Teacher’s Guide
Jun 11, 2002
| ISBN 9780375760105
Jan 01, 1989
| ISBN 9780553213287
*This format is not eligible to earn points towards the Reader Rewards program
Nov 26, 1991
| ISBN 9780679405481
Nov 28, 2006
| ISBN 9780553903133
Nov 01, 2000
| ISBN 9780679640028
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Jun 11, 2002 | ISBN 9780375760105
Jan 01, 1989 | ISBN 9780553213287
Nov 26, 1991 | ISBN 9780679405481
Nov 28, 2006 | ISBN 9780553903133
Nov 01, 2000 | ISBN 9780679640028
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 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)
Moll Flanders is, according to Virginia Woolf, one of the "few English novels which we can call indisputably great." Written by Defoe in 1722 under a pseudonym so his readers would think it an actual journal of the ribald fortunes and misfortunes of a woman in eighteenth-century London, the book remains a picaresque novel of astonishing vitality. From her birth in Newgate Prison to her ascent to a position of wealth and stature, Moll Flanders demonstrates both a mercantile spirit and an indomitable will. This 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, most candid records of a woman’s progress through the hypocritical labyrinth of society ever recorded. "Defoe seems to have taken his characters so deeply into his mind that he lived them without exactly knowing how," wrote Virginia Woolf. "Like all unconscious artists, he leaves more gold in his work than his own generation was able to bring to the surface."
Reading Guide | Teacher’s Guide
Daniel Defoe was born Daniel Foe in London in 1660. It was perhaps inevitable 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,… More about Daniel Defoe
“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
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