Moll Flanders
Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders Introduction

by Daniel Defoe

Composed in the wake of Defoe’s newfound literary success, Moll Flanders tells the story of an eighteenth century woman who takes fate into her own hands by developing his skills as a thief and con artist. Traveling back and forth between England and the United States (or from one con to another), Moll’s story rejects the antiquated notion of female dependence and demonstrates the full potential of a woman’s endurance and autonomy.

This is the spirited story of a survivor whose racy anecdotes and shady dealings only underline her essential warmth and goodness. But there is nothing sentimental about Moll, who presents herself warts and all. Though her adventures take her abroad, she remains the vivid creation of London.

Moll Flanders, pickpocket and prostitute–a mercantile genius trading in the oldest human commodity–has been for the past three centuries an enduring representative of reckless vitality combined with unshakable inner virtue. Daniel Defoe manages his story with such skill that our affection for his heroine increases with each astonishing sin she commits.