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First | Next -> Digital Library - Flanders by Daniel Defoe

The Fortunes & Misfortunes

of the Famous

Moll Flanders

Who was Born in Newgate, and 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, and dies a Penitent.
Written from her own Memorandums . . .

by Daniel Defoe


The world is so taken up of late with novels and romances,
that it will be hard for a private history to be taken for genuine,
where the names and other circumstances of the person are
concealed, and on this account we must be content to leave
the reader to pass his own opinion upon the ensuing sheet,
and take it just as he pleases.

The author is here supposed to be writing her own history,
and in the very beginning of her account she gives the reasons
why she thinks fit to conceal her true name, after which there
is no occasion to say any more about that.

It is true that the original of this story is put into new words,
and the style of the famous lady we here speak of is a little
altered; particularly she is made to tell her own tale in modester
words that she told it at first, the copy which came first to
hand having been written in language more like one still in
Newgate than one grown penitent and humble, as she
afterwards pretends to be.

The pen employed in finishing her story, and making it what
you now see it to be, has had no little difficulty to put it into
a dress fit to be seen, and to make it speak language fit to be
read. When a woman debauched from her youth, nay, even
First | Next -> Digital Library - Flanders by Daniel Defoe

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