Reading Literature From the 1700's

By Issy Goode - 21:11

Excuse my lack of posts since I've arrived at Keele, as it's only the third week I appear to spend my life doing one of five things; sleeping, eating, drinking alcohol, shopping or reading. As a student, I have no time for anything else! (I'm joking, I also do a little bit of exercise - drunken dancing). I spent my first real week reading Moll Flanders, whilst it has temporarily drained me of the desire to read ever again I thought it was only right to write a quick review!

So, this is the wonderful book I had to read for my first week in my 'Telling Tales' module for English and American Literature. You may have gathered by now that it was a tough old read, and I'm torn as to whether I would recommend it or not, simply because of the time it takes to understand a word Defoe has written, on the other hand it is a fantastic story.

The original title page of the book really does sum up exactly what it's about:
The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders &c. Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and dies a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums . . .
To be asked to analyse this text is tough. If I had been given this text in A level English Language I would have had a field day, but trying to figure out what Defoe is talking about would take far longer than a week! Luckily the Norton Critical Edition that was recommended to us pretty much explains it for you.

To be fair to Defoe, the story is undeniably fantastic. The writing technique used does honestly make the book less enjoyable because it's so hard to get your head around, but the story is what's compelling. In parts it lacks detail, it's pace is far too hasty and I don't really think I learnt many of the characters names, however, none of that stops the story from being good, it just weakens it. There is likely an endless list of things that are a problem for anyone reading this book, if you can tolerate no chapters, chaotic paragraphs, the old English, syntactic inversions galore and many many other hurdles then this is the book for you! Otherwise, it's just a way to frustrate you to a ridiculous extent!

Next on my reading list is a deeper analysis of 101 Sonnets, Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Fall of the House of Usher' and some wonderful works analysing sonnets and films!

Isn't being a student fun?!

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  1. so are you having a Reading Festival?

    1. Andy, I'm doing English Literature, my life is now a reading festival. But I get your pun ;)

  2. Was it a pun? or me just being amazing?

    So you have to read a book a week?

    1. #humblebragsalltheway

      Nah 3-4 a week, depending on what's set. I just choose to focus on Moll Flanders 'cause I've been moaning about it for the past two weeks aha

  3. Jeez, i barely read 3-4 a year..i guess thats why you are the bookstudent, and im not!

    whats on the go at the moment?
    or will that ruin future isoblogs?

    1. Aha to be fair before I came here I barely read 3-4 a year!

      Just an analysis of 101 Sonnets and briefly scamming over Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell.


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