The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders - Vol. 1

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders - Vol. 1

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Defoe seems to have published only one pamphlet during 1721, though he was no doubt busy writing books which were to appear in the following year. The first edition of “Moll Flanders” is dated 1721, but it was not issued by the publishers, Chetwood and others, until the 27th of January 1722. Its popularity is shown by the appearance of a “second edition, corrected” (printed for John Brotherton) in July, and of a third edition, again published by Chetwood, in December. By January 1723, Thomas Edlin, as we learn from an entry at Stationers’ Hall, was proprietor of the whole copyright; and in July 1723 an abridged pocket edition was issued by J. Read.

The full title of this remarkable book ran as follows :—“The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the famous Moll Flanders, &c., 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. Written from her own Memorandums.” To take this last point first, Defoe says that from prudential motives Moll Flanders could not publish her . . .

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