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Moll Flanders Paperback – October 3, 1989
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“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
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 he became a prolific pamphleteer satirizing the hypocrisies of both Church and State. Defoe admired William III, and his poemThe 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).
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To get to the tale itself, I really enjoyed it, and throughout the whole of it, you really do feel for the woman, who we generally don't know the name of. She goes thru a lot, failed romances, certainly many marriages, abandoned children, broken hearts and a few twists as well that I hadn't expected (thank goodness I never read a synopsis that gave away anything before completing it). I was a little frustrated with the ending, for I wish the author had given a little more description of some of her children that she left behind. For a couple of them, sons I believe, 'Moll' said how torn and saddened she felt about leaving those children behind. I thought it so heartless of her, for, being a mother myself, I could never contemplate abandoning mine, no matter the reason. Or if events parted us, I would never rest until I found him again, or discovered what happened to him. I don't know, I guess that her heartlessness in that regard lost a little bit of my sympathy in the end, since I thought by the end of the tale, we would discover what had happened to all of her children.
I do plan on reading "Robinson Crusoe" soon, but I have a feeling that "Moll Flanders" will remain my favorite of Defoe's
One of the most fascinating discoveries I made was on "Transportation" ..white slavery. If you were caught for a petty crime, or even accused of it, and they decided not to hang you or send you to Newgate Prison, they sent you off for 7 years of Transportation, or white-slavery to work off your debt to society. They shipped you to the Americas, Ireland, India (I vaguely recall), and Australia. As a U.S. Citizen, we always here of African and Indian slavery. We don't cover other forms of labor and slavery. Britain stopped shipping ppl to the Americas after the Revolutionary War of course.
You get a fantastic history lesson in this novel. Easy to read and connect with the characters.
This novel should be read by people who are interested in history, as it gives a good picture of life in the 1700’s. This novel is a must read for young adults so they can see how delicately and dignified sex was depicted in novels in the past and contrast it with the vulgar ways sex is written about today. (Young adults are already reading books that contain extremely vulgar depictions of sex.)
Most recent customer reviews
The tale itself is sad in that the subject of the story is filled with greed.Read more