Daniel Defoe’s The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (1722) is the story of the notorious life and ultimate repentance of a woman who lived much of her adult life as a prostitute and thief. Set in London, the novel reflects immigrant urban life. It’s a tale told by a woman who does not reveal her real name, but to fellow streetwalkers she is known as Moll Flanders.
She was just six months old when her mother was imprisoned for stealing three pieces of fine “Holland” (imported Dutch fabric) from a draper in Cheapside. The baby was “sold” and spent time in the company of “gypsies” before running off as a child ending up in Colchester. The story starts amid the textile industry of Colchester and Norwich, noted for its refugees from the Low Countries. [Read more…] about Moll Flanders in Manhattan (Daniel Defoe and Martin Scorcese)