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The Fortunes And Misfortunes Of The Famous Moll Flanders
by Daniel Defoe
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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.
This recording of Daniel Defoe's 1722 novel features a too skimpy abridgment of the tale of the irrepressible title character, born in London's Newgate Gaol. It's read by accomplished British actress, Jan Francis and is part of Hodder's Classic Collection, with a stately English painting gracing the cover. Francis reads with expression but without ornamentation, choosing not to give unique voices to the different characters. It works well here, since Moll is really a one-woman show, and so much of the performance depends on how well the narrator handles her. D.B. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine
?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
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Tor Classics are affordably-priced editions designed to attract the young reader. Original dynamic cover art enthusiastically represents the excitement of each story. Appropriate "reader friendly" type sizes have been chosen for each title-offering clear, accurate, and readable text. All editions are complete and unabridged, and feature Introductions and Afterwords.This edition of Moll Flanders includes a Foreword, Biographical Note, and Afterword by Nancy Springer.The conditions of Moll Flanders' birth could not have been more depressing. Her mother was a petty thief who was caught and sent to the notorious Newgate prison in London. It was in that prison that Moll was born. Deemed an orphan, Moll was later sent to apprentice as a servant with a respectable family. Moll has designs on a life better than serving others. But as she discovers, independence and fortune are not easy to come by. A string of dreadful misfortunes--including five luckless marriages--force Moll into the streets, where her only means of support is a life of crime.But Moll refuses to give up: she will succeed!Moll Flanders is a triumphant portrait of a strong-willed woman determined to make her own way in eighteenth-century England.
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 hypercritical labyrinth of society ever recorded.\
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
(in full The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, ac. Who Was Born in Newgate, and During a Life of Continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, Besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, Five Times a Wife [Whereof Once to her Own Brother] Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at Last Grew Rich, Liv'd Honest, and Died a Penitent. Written from Her Own Memorandums) Picaresque novel by Daniel Defoe, published in 1722. The novel recounts the adventures of a lusty and strong-willed woman who is compelled, from earliest childhood, to make her own way in 17th-century England.
From the Publisher
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.
Inside Flap Copy
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) was a novelist, critic, and essayist whose works include such classics as A Room of One's Own, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and The Voyage Out (the latter available from the Modern Library in both cloth and paper).
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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