"The fortunes and misfortunes of the famous Moll Flanders, who was born in Newgate, and during a life of continue'd variety for three-score 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 died a penitent."
So begins Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe's honest portrayal of one woman's struggle for economic survival in an unsympathetic world. Told with uncompromising directness and an extraordinary empathy, it is, as Virginia Woolf once claimed, "one of the few English novels we can call indisputably great".
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