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Moll Flanders (Critical Editions Series) Paperback – February, 1973

4.0 out of 5 stars 186 customer reviews

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Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

English author Daniel Defoe was at times a trader, political activist, criminal, spy and writer, and is considered to be one of England s first journalists. A prolific writer, Defoe is known to have used at least 198 pen names over the course of a career in which he produced more than five hundred written works. Defoe is best-known for his novels detailing the adventures of the castaway Robinson Crusoe, which helped establish and popularize the novel in eighteenth century England. In addition to Robinson Crusoe, Defoe penned other famous works including Captain Singleton, A Journal of the Plague Year, Captain Jack, Moll Flanders and Roxana. Defoe died in 1731. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Critical Editions Series
  • Paperback: 444 pages
  • Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc (Np); First Edition, First Printing edition (February 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039309412X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393094121
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,582,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mp on August 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Daniel Defoe's 1722 novel, "Moll Flanders," remains a fascinating imaginative work, and is in many ways more interesting than his famous first effort, "Robinson Crusoe." Having seen bits of two recent film adaptations in the last couple of months on television, and being a budding 18th century scholar, I decided it was time I picked up my own copy of "Moll Flanders" and see the actual product on its own terms. A story no less about a castaway and delinquent than "Crusoe," in "Moll Flanders," Defoe attempts to set down the history of a woman with a wild and often desperate life. A character of infinitely more interiority and reflection than Crusoe, Moll gives us through a first person narrative, a look into various stations of life in 18th century England and America.
The novel begins with a tip of the hat to that fine progenitor of the novel, "Don Quixote," a Gines-like acknowledgment that Moll, as the author of her own story, cannot complete that story within the text of the novel, unless people can write when they are deceased. Amusements aside, Moll begins her story as Crusoe begins his, with an immediate acknowledgment of the instability of the modern self - the corruption of her own name. Born in Newgate prison, and having never known her mother, Moll finds herself among gypsies and landed gentry before settling in Colchester for the term of her youth. Here, she founds her sense of social ambition, unusual even for Jane Eyre in the 19th century, as one in which she figures to be a gentlewoman by earning her own living. Various mishaps and misadventures lead her through marriages, whoredom, and thievery as Moll attempts to find her place in the world as a woman of common birth.
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Format: Paperback
'Tho the plot, being interesting in the extream, must be confess'd to be well-done, and alike the characters, being well-develop'd, plausible, and even sympathetic ('tho they be theives, felons, bigamists, and worse), must be similarly confess'd, still the writing style, being as it is extreamly archaic as well in spelling, grammar, and syntax, as in punctuation, the modern reader must be foarwarn'd: if he had difficulty with the parsing of this, the principle paragraph of this review, or finds the prospect of reading a story consisting of eight and forty more than two hundreds of pages in a like style daunting, he should give the project up as impracticable.
If, on the other hand, you had no trouble with that paragraph, I daresay that you'll enjoy this book, even if, as the father of the English novel, Defoe had yet to engender the chapter break.
Also it should be pointed out this may well be the first novel in which a male author attempts to write a story in which the lead character is female, and Defoe does a surprisingly good job of it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. In fact, Defoe is often called "the father of the English novel." Actually, as a novel it's very primitive. Defoe's fiction is usually a first person narrative told by an ambitious person, recounting how he got where he is today. In Moll Flanders, Defoe presents the autobiography of a woman who rises from an ignominious birth in Newgate Prison, and a childhood as a servant. Early on, Moll learns that she is beautiful and that she is attractive to the opposite sex. What's great about the book is its delicious irony. Oh there are times when she gets caught in her own traps, she's a sly one, that Moll. It's very difficult at times to think of Moll as a fictional character. But she is, in fact, the first great female character in English prose. I never cease to be amazed that the book was written by a man. There are moments in the book that I find very moving, like when she realizes that she's no longer pretty enough to attract men without resorting to makeup. "I never had to paint my face before." And of course there's that unsettling surprise she receives toward the end of the novel. This is a great and important book and hardly anyone has read it. I don't know why. I have recommended this book to probably a hundred people. To the best of my knowledge, not a single one of them has taken my advice. It's their loss. I LOVE Moll Flanders.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An eighteenth century novel recounting the life and survival of a strong willed Moll Flanders, a woman who, abandoned as an infant, finds her way to self sufficiency, in a world then dominated by men. Through ingenius schemes she still some how always regains the illusion of imaginary high standing and good reputation throughout it all.
I found Moll Flanders to be resourceful and ingenious in her methods for securing her own survival. The book puts prostitution and premarital sex in a whole new perspective. As one can deduce from this book, life was not so simple for women in the 18th century, especially if they were abandon as children, or even if they husband died and left them without means to exist. Moll takes her position as a dependent woman and finds power in her mind to devise schemes which will allow her a secure lifestyle without compromising her self.
I found Moll to be a woman of character and repute, with self esteem, who made her own way in a world where women had no power, money or choices aside from their dependence upon men.
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