Moll flanders daniel defoe online dating
A major-league pickpocket, Moll exploits the flashy and the gullible.
Jenny Uglow, who is completing a biography of the painter William Hogarth, points out that Moll enriches herself amid a get-rich-quick society that sounds very familiar: "Her victims are asking for it - that's the fantastically Thatcherite thing about Moll." Andrew Davies says that he found in the novel "a very raw sort of society with no welfare state - people could drop through the bottom of it easily.
In the 1690s, Defoe started writing non-conformist tracts and skulking round the fringes of London politics.
Notoriety arrived when the heavy irony of his pamphlet The Shortest Way with Dissenters was read with a straight face by the powers-that-be.
Nothing about him is quite what it seems, starting with his name.
Born Daniel Foe in the City around 1660, the son of a Dissenting butcher, he failed in at least three business careers - as a hosier, roof-tiler and breeder of civet cats.
Daniel Defoe published Moll Flanders - his picaresque tale of a streetwise adventuress who survives and then thrives in a man's world - in 1722, and died in 1731.
His subterfuge didn't end there - readers who come across the vivid faction of the his Journal of the Plague Year still assume that Defoe (who was about five years old at the time) is writing as a trustworthy eye-witness.
Robinson Crusoe appeared in print as fact, not fiction - the dodgy SAS memoir of its day.
Quite apart from the scope they offer for period nookie, Defoe and his indestructible heroine look ripe for rehabilitation.
As she sleeps and bargains her way to status and riches, the jail-born Moll shows up the hypocrisy of a culture that lauded free enterprise but barred half the population from its benefits.