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Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders


by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders Timeline and Summary

  • Moll is born in Newgate prison, where her mother is being held.
  • When her mother is sent into exile, Moll is released to live with a kindly nurse.
  • After the nurse dies, Moll moves in with a wealthy family in her neighborhood.
  • There, Moll has a fling with the family's elder son. When their relationship goes sour, Moll ends up marrying the younger son instead. They have two kids before he dies.
  • Uh oh. His death prompts Moll to move to London and marry a linen-draper. But husband #2 manages money badly and the two part ways.
  • So Moll marries a captain for his money and they move to Virginia. Everything is o-okay until Moll finds out that he's her half-brother and gets the heck out of there, even though they've had kids together.
  • After this, Moll goes out with a guy from Bath for a while, and then marries a Lancashire gentleman. However, the Lancashire guy turns out to be broke and when he finds out that Moll is broke, too, they separate.
  • Moll is pregnant, so she has to wait until the kid is born before she can grab a new man. So she relies on her midwife friend for a while, until she can take up with a banker she used to know The two marry and are happy for about five years before he dies, too, prompting Moll to return to her midwife friend in London, where she becomes a big-time thief.
  • After many years of stealing, Moll is caught and is sent to Newgate prison, where she assumes she'll be executed for her crimes.
  • While there, she runs into her Lancashire husband, who has become a highwayman. They both end up getting exiled to America and escape Newgate (and execution).
  • There, Moll becomes even richer and makes up with her American son (who, you'll remember, was a product of incest).
  • When enough time has passed, she and her husband move back to England, where they feel bad about their previous crimes, but live lives of great comfort.