Monday, August 7, 2017

History Today on "Moll Flanders"

After you've finished reading "Moll Flanders," maybe you would like to read Sian Rees'  2011 book about "Moll Flanders."

From the "History Today" review:

If you thought Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders was the 18th century’s Belle de Jour then prepare to stand corrected. Most often portrayed as a bodice-ripping wench sexing up the Georgians, of all fiction’s heroines Defoe’s Moll has perhaps been done the greatest disservice in dramatised adaptations. As Siân Rees’ new book reminds us, Moll was, in fact, not really conceived as an 18th-century gal at all. Although the novel was published in 1722, Defoe imagines his heroine putting pen to paper to recount ‘her’ tale in the late 17th century. By then she is looking back on a long life lived among befrilled Jacobeans and penitent Puritans rather than amid the boisterous and bewigged Hanoverians. Nor was mistress Moll that much of a wench, or at least not in the way subsequent scriptwriters have imagined. To be sure Defoe uses a lengthy subtitle to brand her as ‘twelve years a whore’ – condemning Moll to an inevitably fleshy cinematic fate – yet he also adds that she was ‘five times a wife’. It does not make for such good telly, but it was sex and love within marriages and misfortunate affairs (not procured, prostituted sex) that Defoe featured in Moll Flanders.

 You'll find the rest of the article about it here.