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Moll Flanders

by Daniel Defoe

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Moll Flanders was one of the first social novels to be published in English and draws heavily on Defoe's experience of the topography and social conditions prevailing in the London of the late seventeenth century. If it is on one level a Puritan’s tale of sin and repentance, through self-made, self-reliant Moll, its rich subtext conveys all the paradoxes and amoralities of the struggle for property and power in Defoe’s newly individualistic society. Moll Flanders is born in Newgate, where her mother is under sentence of death for theft; subsequently the sentence is commuted to transportation to Virginia. The abandoned child is taken by the mayoress of Colchester, from whom she passes on to another gentlewoman who gives her education; but the son of the house seduces her. She leads an adventurous love life and eventually marries. She visits Virginia with her husband and finds her mother – and discovers that her husband is in fact her brother. She leaves him and her children and goes back to England, where she falls into bad company and finds herself destitute. She becomes an extremely successful pickpocket and thief, but is detected and transported to Virginia along with one of her former husbands, a highwayman....

ISBN 10/13 : 9788124800461

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