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Moll Flanders Paperback – 1 Jan 1965

4.1 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Mayflower-Dell (1 Jan. 1965)
  • ASIN: B002HILL5G
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 11.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

Product Description

Moll Flanders

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having avoided watching various TV adaptations and never reading the book before, I was hesitant to read this book. Whilst working abroad the book was a last option on the book shop shelf. I was very much wrong in my assumption regarding the book. It is a marvelous account of live at the rough end during the 17th century. The story moves between London and Virginia and steps from one drama to the next throughout. I was captivated throughout by the trials and tribulations of Moll and her many aborted marriages and criminal capers. I was torn between feeling sympathy for Moll and being incredulous at just how many scrapes one woman could get into and escape from. As stated by others this is also a great account of live during Molls time and also of traditions, morals and customs of the time. I now almost regret not making time for the TV adaptation, although I'm sure it would not have been as good.
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Format: Hardcover
This carefully edited re-issue of Daniel Defoe's little known book 'The Storm' makes available a volume which, unaccountably, has been out-of-print for almost a century. Not even the 'Great Storm' of October 1987 - often described as 'the worst since the Great Storm of 1703' - was sufficient to stir the publishing houses from their torpor. Penguin and their editor Richard Hamblyn are now to be congratulated on seizing the opportunity of the 300th anniversary of the event to publish the book in a most attractive format.
Newly-released from prison when the Great Storm struck on the night of 26/27 November, Defoe, ever on the look-out to keep his creditors at bay, hit upon the entirely new idea of appealing, via the newspapers, for eye-witness accounts of the event. The result is a remarkable collection of first-hand accounts from across southern Britain.
Defoe began his work with a study of the 'Natural Causes and Original of Winds', a fascinating introduction to what was the current state of meteorological knowledge at the beginning of the eighteenth century. He also supplies readings of atmospheric pressure which, as Hamblyn points out, have enabled modern climate historians to re-construct the event.
The most absorbing part of the book, however, is the eye-witness accounts themselves variously describing the damage inflicted upon houses, churches, windmills, woods and ships at sea. Many of these speak to us with a powerful directness enabling us to appreciate the terrors of God-fearing people and immersing us in the realities of that Storm-struck society. Not all of the stories are of tragedy.
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Format: Paperback
Until now, Defoe's The Storm hasn't been in print as a single volume since the mid 19th century, the reason being that since the mid 19th century the public has preferred to see Defoe as a fictionist like Dickens, which has degraded the meaning and value of his Journal of the Plague Year and consigned The Storm to oblivion. These works form a pair, both being about national disasters of historic significance. The difference in style is that The Storm consists of Defoe's own observations and research, gathered together with eyewitness accounts from around the nation which he advertised for, while A Journal of the Plague Year has the eyewitness account and Defoe's research blended together into one common narrative. No other journalist has ever done that I think. But if you read the Plague Year as fiction it would be like trying to read The Storm as fiction.

Weather experts have always commented favourably on The Storm and it is legendary. Like the Plague Year, this book is great to read through and browse in afterwards as well - it is not a book to dispence with afterwards. Penguin has retained the dynamics of Defoe's original punctuation, but I wish that the print was bigger and blacker and more comfortable to read.
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Format: Paperback
I found this to be most enthralling. It's full of info about Defoe and his life, and filled with eyewitness accounts of the most terrible storm to hit Britain. The storm arrived in 1703, houses were destroyed, thousands died and fires broke out all over. The eye- witness accounts make for fascinating reading. Defoe advertised for these accounts in a newspaper and people came forward to tell of their experience of the storm. Defoe used these tellings to write The Storm - his first full-length book. I found it amazing to think that one of our most revered writers was bankrupt and had served time in prison. If only he could have known how famous he was to become and how well loved his books would be.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I continued my current re-reading of the classics in Kindle versions with this one, first read 40 years ago, and I was pleased to have my fond memories of it refreshed. One of the earliest British novels, this masquerades as a memoir, with Defoe handling the female perspective of the eponymous heroine just as well as he did Robinson Crusoe. I call her 'heroine' though Moll's adventures as sometime prostitute and recidivist thief would seem to disqualify her from such a status but for her late redemption and reform. In any case, we never think of her as a real villain, rather one who is forced by circumstances to make her way in life the best she can. She does admit to being an easy prey to temptation, and she is her own best apologist. As Moll says herself, her 'wicked' life is a lot more interesting to read than her return to virtue and prosperity. We learn a good deal along the way about the harsh conditions of living in late 17th Century England, and of the brutal treatment wrong-doers might expect, both from the courts and, if they catch you, from the mob. Humour and romance help to alleviate the gloom which, along with Moll's winning narrative, always keep us on her side even while she commits her more outrageous sins.

Reviewer David Williams regularly blogs as Writer in the North.
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