Moll Flanders, the Litchfield-Borowitz-Manney copy
Moll Flanders, the Litchfield-Borowitz-Manney copy
Moll Flanders, the Litchfield-Borowitz-Manney copy
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Moll Flanders, the Litchfield-Borowitz-Manney copy

DANIEL DEFOE, 1722

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Moll Flanders, the Litchfield-Borowitz-Manney copy
Daniel Defoe, 1722
[DEFOE, Daniel (1660-1730).] The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. London: W. Chetwood and T. Edling, 1771 [but 1722].

The superb Litchfield-Borowitz-Manney copy of the rare first edition, in a contemporary binding. Defoe is widely considered the father of the English novel. Like his 1719 Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders is narrated in the first person, giving the story a sense of immediacy. Based partially on the life of London criminal Moll King, Defoe's novel tells the story of its eponymous protagonist, beginning with her birth at Newgate Prison (where her pregnant mother "pleaded her belly," and was "respited for about seven months") and ensuing life of misfortunes, until she ultimately returns to England "in good heart and health," where she and her final husband resolve to spend the rest of their days "in sincere penitence for the wicked lives [they] have lived." Rare at auction: ABPC records only three copies, including this one, in the past thirty years; this is the only one in a contemporary binding. The present copy is with the rare leaf A8 (blank) and the incorrect date on title page. Moore 446.

Octavo (198 x 121mm). Contemporary paneled calf (skillfully rebacked with original spine laid down, lower tip of front cover renewed). Custom calf clamshell box. Provenance: pen trials to front endpaper - E. Hubert Litchfield (bookplate, his sale, Parke Bernet, 3-5 December 1951, lot 284) - David Borowitz (his sale, Sotheby’s New York, 15 November 1977, lot 76) - Christie’s New York, 26 November 1979, lot 226 - Richard Manney (bookplate, his sale, Sotheby’s New York, 11 October 1991, lot 73).

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