Moll Flanders, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


'Twelve Year a Whore, fives 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' So the title page of this extraordinary novel describes the career of the woman known as Moll Flanders, whose real name we never discover. And so, in a tour-de-force of writing by the businessman, political satirist, and spy Daniel Defoe, Moll tells her own story, a vivid and racy tale of a woman's experience in the seamy side of life in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century England and America. Born in Newgate prison, and seduced in the home of her adoptive family, she learns to live off her wits, defying the traditional depiction of women as helpless victims.

First published in 1722, and one of the earliest novels in the English language, its account of opportunism, endurance, and survival speaks as strongly to us today as it did to its original readers.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages, 3 maps
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780192805355

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Audiobook on CD. Book written detailing the adventures of Moll Flanders who lives by her wits and her body. Her fortune is made several times by herself, but is lost again, mostly due to her poor choice in men (drunks, womanisers, already married etc). Narrative is bawdy, jolly etc. It is both a serious (about a world where a woman can rarely survive on her own and with few rights to even her own money) and not-serious tale (she goes through husbands with almost every chapter). As a result of these dalliances, she has plenty of children, of which little is heard off once they are packed off somewhere else, to ensure that Moll isn’t hindered by a flock of children following her. I dont know if a woman would really do this, or whether this is Defoe's "wishful thinking" of fertile women not actually having children in tow. Overall an enjoyable lighthearted 18th century romp

Review by

I'm not sure what i can say about this classic book that hasn't already been said. It is the fictional story of Moll Flanders, a pseudonym because of the scandalous life she'd led. She is a 17th century woman who was born in Newgate prison where her mother was incarcerated. Raised in orphanages, she made a life for herself as best she could by latching on to various families and men, marrying several times, not always legally. With one of her husbands, she sailed to Virginia where she had two children and then discovered that her mother-in-law was in fact her mother and her husband was her brother. Later in her life she became a notorious thief, escaping capture many times aside from once. The style of writing is of course 17th century so does not flow as easily as modern fiction and i found the second part of the book where she became a thief more interesting than the first. There was apparently a movie made of it but for the most part is bears little resemblence to the book. It could be a good romp if made into a short series.

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