The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe
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Daniel Defoe

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

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The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (aka Moll Flanders) is a novel by Daniel Defoe, 1st published in 1722. It purports to be the true account of the life of the eponymous Moll, detailing her exploits from birth until old age.
By 1721, Defoe had become a recognised novelist, with the success of Robinson Crusoe in 1719. His political work was tapering off at this point, due to the fall of both Whig & Tory party leaders with whom he had been associated; Robert Walpole was beginning his rise. Defoe was never fully at home with the Walpole group. Defoe's Whig views are nevertheless evident in the story of Moll. The novel's full title gives some insight into this & the outline of the plot: “The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, &c. Who was Born in Newgate, & 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, & died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums.”
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