The Children of Moll Flanders: Infanticide Run Rampant

When reading through Defoe’s Moll Flanders, one thing that struck me as a reader was the complete disregard Moll had for all of the children to which she gave birth over the course of the novel. While Moll takes pains at every turn to account for her stock of money and goods, she doesn’t botherContinue reading “The Children of Moll Flanders: Infanticide Run Rampant”

The Novel Form

One of the things that stand out the most while reading Henry Fielding’s Jonathan Wild, is how differently it is formatted from other works from the same period. Granted, The Beggar’s Opera is a play and thus formatted accordingly. But Moll Flanders, while obviously a novel, based on its length, narrative style, etc., was not at all formattedContinue reading “The Novel Form”

A Reputation of Deceit: How Moll Flanders Beat the Gossip Game (Part 2 of 2)

However, it wasn’t always clear to Moll Flanders how to build up a good and useful reputation such as this. When her second husband, a thief, flees the country, Moll finds herself entirely at loose ends for perhaps the first time in her life. She seems to instinctively know that if she stays where, andContinue reading “A Reputation of Deceit: How Moll Flanders Beat the Gossip Game (Part 2 of 2)”

A Reputation of Deceit: How Moll Flanders Beat the Gossip Game (Part 1 of 2)

Literary works of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries tend to depend, in one way or another, on reputation. In works such as Samuel Richardson’s Pamela or Eliza Haywood‘s Fantomina, the issue of good and bad reputation informs the main conflict of the story. It is important to note, however, that the reputation atContinue reading “A Reputation of Deceit: How Moll Flanders Beat the Gossip Game (Part 1 of 2)”