Convict Transportation and Penitence in 'Moll Flanders'

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Article discussing convict transportation and penitence in 'Moll Flanders.'

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23 p.

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Cervantes, Gabriel 2011.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: UNT Scholarly Works and was provided by UNT College of Arts and Sciences to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 366 times . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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Article discussing convict transportation and penitence in 'Moll Flanders.'

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23 p.

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Copyright © 2011 Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in ELH 78:2 (2011), 315-336. Reprinted with permission by The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Abstract: Drawing on legal and economic history and transatlantic debates about the behavior of transported convicts, this essay reads Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders as a key to the eighteenth-century colonial turn in criminal sentencing. This shift, wherein vestigial ecclesiastical privileges and reports of spiritual conversion legitimated the commutation of death sentences to servitude abroad, renders the narrative's concern with penitence newly legible. Not merely in Moll's spiritual condition, the text's religious language and narrative structures consolidate the terms of a penal system whose Atlantic reach was enabled by legal fictions and demonstrations of belief.

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  • English Literary History, 2011, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp. 315-336

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  • Publication Title: English Literary History
  • Volume: 78
  • Issue: 2
  • Edition: Summer
  • Page Start: 315
  • Page End: 336
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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  • 2011

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  • Aug. 13, 2013, 2:47 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2014, 4:27 p.m.

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Cervantes, Gabriel. Convict Transportation and Penitence in 'Moll Flanders', article, 2011; [Baltimore, Maryland]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177278/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.