29 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2021
  2. Oct 2016
  3. Jan 2016
  4. Oct 2015
    1. Thief-Catchers

      Moll's use of "honest" is sarcastic. Thief-catchers were in effect fences, who took goods that criminals stole and attempted to sell them back to the people from whom they had been stolen.

    2. Press-Yard

      An open-air area outside the condemned hold.

    3. Reprieve was not a Pardon

      That is, he managed to buy her some time, but she still may face execution.

    4. Carts

      Prisoners were loaded into horse-drawn carts for the ride from Newgate to Tyburn, the place of execution. The distance was about two miles, and took three hours or more; crowds often lined the way. Marble Arch now stands about where Tyburn was located in the eighteenth century.

    5. Ordinary of Newgate

      The chaplain. For many years this post was held by Paul Lorrain, whose accounts of the testimony and final words of convicts were popular reading material.

    6. Bury Fair

      An annual fair held in Bury St. Edmonds, a town in Suffolk.

    7. Sturbridge Fair,

      Sturbridge Fair was held in Cambridge in September.

    8. Tunbridge, and Epsom

      These were resort places in the period. The "rumbling time of the Year" would have been the summer, when most of upper class people would have left London for the country.

    9. Cloisters

      The "Cloister" were a covered gallery along one side of St. Bartholemew's Church, which was on the edge of the Fair, during which there were various shops and stalls. In this period, that area was notorious for being the Fair's seedy side; if you were looking for a prostitute (as this gentleman seems to have been doing), this is where you would go.

    10. Counterfeiting was considered to be a particularly grievous crime, and could be punished by burning at the stake. Defoe may be alluding obliquely here to the death of Barbara Spencer, who was burned at the stake for counterfeiting in July 1721, the year before the publication of Moll Flanders. **

    11. Hicks’s Hall

      The Justice of the Peace for Middlesex heard cases at Hicks Hall in the Clerkenwell neighborhood of London.

    12. Flint Glasses

      Crystal lasses made from sand having a high flint content, these were usually of fairly high quality.

    13. oasting Vessels

      Vessels from the north of England that followed the coastal route into the Thames estuary.

    14. Guilt

      That is, a silver watcher that was gilded with gold plate--much less valuable than a solid gold watch.

    15. Bartholomew Fair

      Bartholomew Fair was a three-day event, beginning August 24, held in and around the Smithfield Market in central London every year. Huge crowds came: there were live performances, puppet shows, games, and various kinds of spectacle, to go along with the kind of trading in cloth and livestock that usually accompanied late-summer harvest fairs.

    16. they go like an Ox to the slaughter, till a Dart strikes through their Liver

      Moll here is citing Proverbs 7: 22 and 23.

    17. Feather Muff:

      Muffs are designed to cover or protect and keep warm parts of the body, often the hands. A "feather muff" would probably be more decorative than useful.

    18. put a Period to

      That is, ended my life.

    19. run a Tick

      To "run a Tick" is to go into debt, to receive credit. Moll is playing off the notion that, as she has just said, there are no old crimes on her "Account" at the moment, so she can begin stealing again, thereby running up her "debt" to the law.

    20. Brand of an old Offender

      That is, she had been "branded" by burning a mark on her hand, like Moll's mother.

    21. Moll Cut-Purse

      "Moll Cut-Purse" was the criminal alias taken by the famous (or notorious) thief Mary Frith, c. 1585-1659. She was the subject of a hit play by Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton, The Roaring Girl (1611), and of a popular biography.

    22. Plate

      "Plate" was a generic term for valuable household metal, particularly serving dishes made of silver, gold, and pewter. For many families, such items made up a significant part of a household's wealth.

    23. Fact

      In eighteenth-century usage, "fact" could mean "crime."

  5. Sep 2015
  6. Aug 2015
  7. Jun 2015
    1. It's interesting to see how many times, and in how many ways, the narrator uses the word "Account" in this book. We tend to use it as synonymous with "story," but here it really does some like an account-book is at the back of the narrator's mind a lot of the time.