This essay draws on the huge amount of text now available in digital databases to examine Moll Flanders in relation to two non-fiction genres widely read in the 18th century, Ordinary's Accounts of the lives and last moments of condemned criminals, and the reports of trials held at the London's principal criminal court at the Old Bailey. It concludes that Defoe's polyphonic presentation of theft, which indirectly makes accessible the points of view of victims and their helpers as well as that of the thief-narrator, owes more to the trial report (so far largely ignored by literary critics) than to the criminal biography which has received wide attention.

Criminal Genres in Early Eighteenth-Century England: Moll Flanders, the Ordinary’s Accounts and the Old Bailey Proceedings

CLEGG, Jeanne Frances
2013

Abstract

This essay draws on the huge amount of text now available in digital databases to examine Moll Flanders in relation to two non-fiction genres widely read in the 18th century, Ordinary's Accounts of the lives and last moments of condemned criminals, and the reports of trials held at the London's principal criminal court at the Old Bailey. It concludes that Defoe's polyphonic presentation of theft, which indirectly makes accessible the points of view of victims and their helpers as well as that of the thief-narrator, owes more to the trial report (so far largely ignored by literary critics) than to the criminal biography which has received wide attention.
Liminal Discourses: Subliminal Tensions in Law and Literature of Law
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/4529
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