Moll Flanders By Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders is a story about the fall and rise of a beautiful woman who was
born in Newgate Prison. Her mother was saved from the gallows because "she
pleaded her belly", and soon after Moll was born, her mother was shipped to
the clonies to work out her sentence. Left behind, Moll was raised for three
years with a band of traveling gypsies. Moll worked her way out of that,
disgusted that England didn't have orphanages, and she was allowed to live with
a "nurse." At a young age she decided she didn't want to be a servant,
but a gentlewoman. Her defination of a gentlewoman was a woman who worked and
supported herself, not, in fact, a wealthy woman. Moll's nurse, and a wealthy
matron of the town, found entertainment in this, and Moll was allowed to sew for
people to earn her keep. After many years of seamstress work, and handouts from
wealthy gentlewomen, Moll was able to buy her own clothes and live quite well
with her nurse. After her nurse died, she lived with the wealthy matron and her
family. She was their servant, but also treated very kindly. Moll learned what
the daughters learned, french, dancing, singing, and how to read and write. Her
talents and beauty surpassed theirs, but she would never have the same
advantages, as she was poor and of low social standings. The elder brother made

Moll his mistress, much to protests at first, but won her over with
proclamations of love and promises of marriage once he came into his
inheritance. The younger brother, Robin, professed his genuine love of Moll and
his plans of marrying her. After weeks of unbalance and uneasiness of this,
their marriage was approved; Moll being payed off by the elder brother, and
because she wanted stability. Robin died five years later, Moll gave her
children to Robins parents, and she went off to start her new life. She sought
to marry rich, so that she may be supported, and be a gentlewomam. Deception
landed her a tradesmen, or a draper, that spent all her money, his own money,
and money he didn't have. Debts accumulated, and he was arrested for debt and
put in "a sponging-house" (a place of confinement for debtors). He
instructed Moll to take what she could fom his shop and their home to try and
pawn for money. His escape left her alone again, and without bothering for a
divorce, she started again. In London, she helped a woman get a man, so inturn,
asked for aid back. The seaman Moll chose owned a plantation in Virginia, which
the two, after marriage, moved to. Moll enjoyed the company of this man, and
they got along well. His mother, who lived on the plantation too, befriended

Moll. One day, Moll's mother-in-law was telling Moll about her past; about how
she had a child in Newgate, but was allowed transportation to the colonies after
the child's birth. Moll discovered that this was her long-lost mother, and after
a struggle with the decision to say anythig about it or not, she confronted her
mother. The thought of sleeping with her husband, now her brother, repulsed her,
and seeing their children was even worse. Moll convinced her brother to allow
her to go back to London, and he sent her with money and her belongings. The two
corresponded ater that, but as sister and brother. Moll returned to London, and
took up residence in Bath. There, under the pretense that she was awiting money
from Virginia, she met a married man, whose wife "was distempered in her
head." Moll cooked and served this gentlman's meals and kept him company,
as he helped her out financially. The two became friends through a sickness he
had, and one night, after too much wine, the two went to bed together. This
evolved into a six year relationship, as Moll had a child with him. He furnished
her and the child in an apartment in London, and all was well until he became
ill. After this, he broke off ties with her by sending her money for the child.

Moll was now forty-two years old. Moll then met her soon to be 4th husband,

Jemmy. And, althought their relationship was founded under the pretense that
both were wealthy, a true love resulted. When the truth of their poverty did
suface, Jemmy tried to leave, but couldn't; he couldn't bear to be away from
her. The two did part to go their seperate ways