Moll Flanders Moll Flanders known as The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders was written by Daniel Defoe and first published in 1722. Moll Flanders recounts the story of her extraordinary life, from her birth in Newgate prison to her declining years in married prosperity. After being seduced in the home of her adoptive family she lives off her wits and her beauty, as a whore, 'five times a Wife', and a thief, and is eventually transported to Virginia for her crimes. Rich and penitent, Moll reflects on a world that is both good and evil, just as the reader both abhors and admires her. Arguably the first English novel, Moll Flanders is also a romance, its heroine in perpetual search for a lost familial paradise.