Moll Flanders (Penguin Popular Classics)

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9780140620252: Moll Flanders (Penguin Popular Classics)

Born and abandoned in Newgate Prison, Moll Flanders is forced to make her own way in life. She duly embarks on a career that includes husband-hunting, incest, bigamy, prostitution and pick-pocketing, until her crimes eventually catch up with her. One of the earliest and most vivid female narrators in the history of the English novel, Moll recounts her adventures with irresistible wit and candour - and enough guile that the reader is left uncertain whether she is ultimately a redeemed sinner or a successful opportunist. Based on the first edition of 1722, this volume includes a chronology, notes on currency and maps of London and Virginia in the late seventeenth century.

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Review:

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.

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.

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Daniel Defoe
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ISBN 10: 0140620257 ISBN 13: 9780140620252
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Book Description 2007-09-27., 2007. Book Condition: New. Penguin Classics. New Ed. Paperback. Book: VERY GOOD. 384pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1340754

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Defoe, Daniel
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Book Description Penguin, Harmondsworth, UK. Taschenbuch. Book Condition: Neu. Ohne Schutzumschlag. 376 S. - Achtung: Dieser Titel kann nicht mit Kreditkarte bezahlt werden, nur Banküberweisung -It is the tale of 'the Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continued variety for threescore years, besides her childhood, was twelve years a whore, five times a wife (whereof once to her own brother), twelve years a thief, Eight years a transported felon in Virginia, at last grew rich, lived honest, and died a penitent.' Racy, ironic, rich in realistic sociological detail, it is also a romance, with Moll in her quest for a familial paradise its charmed heroine. Bookseller Inventory # 003710

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