May 31, 2005

Just Finished

Over the holiday weekend I finished reading Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders, a fictional story about an interesting lady. It was written in 1722, four years after his classic Robinson Crusoe.

What amused me though, was the title of the work as presented on the first page:

The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders &c. 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 (whoerof 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.

Ms. Flanders (not her real name, we never learn that) is an extraordinary character, and despite the gruesome litany of her exploits given above, she's not an unkind person and is easy to be sympathetic to. The place of her birth, Newgate, was a prison of the day, where her mother was under a sentence of death.

An excellent read, once you get into the flow of the archaic writing style and vocabulary.

Posted by: Ted at 04:57 AM | category: Square Pegs
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