The full title of Moll Flanders is a brief summary of the plot: “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll
Flanders, Etc. 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 died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums.”
Moll Flanders was born to a mother imprisoned and transported to
soon after her birth. As an infant, Moll lives with a kind widow who teaches her manners and needlework (=cucito e ricamo). Beautiful as she is, she is soon seduced. Abandoned by her lover, she first marries his brother – who dies – and then a draper(=negoziante di stoffe) who flees the country as a fugitive from the law. She marries again and moves to America , where she finds out that her husband is her half-brother. Moll leaves him and returns to America , where she becomes the lover of a man whose wife is insane and who leaves her after a religious experience.
While travelling in the country Moll meets and marries a rich gentleman in
Lancashire. Actually he is poor and they part (= si dividono) to look for their fortunes separately. Moll marries a divorced banker, who dies soon after. Poor again she begins stealing becoming a local legend. Caught, imprisoned, and sentenced to death (= condannata a morte), at Newgate, she reunites with her Lancashire husband. They get their sentences reduced, and are transported to the colonies, where they begin a new life as plantation owners. Prosperous and penitent, she returns with her husband to at the age of seventy.