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Daniel Defoe Archive

The Enigmatic Figure of the Midwife in Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders

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The midwife has often been an ambiguous figure both in the history of literature and within the history of labor.

When Scientists Study Novels

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The point is to understand that what constitutes “literary” versus “genre” fiction—an age-old topic of study and debate within literary circles—is fundamental, not ancillary, to scientific findings on the effects of reading novels.

The Self-Made Heir

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Most Americans identify as “middle class,” though this is a reflection of mentality more than income. Economists define “middle income” households as those with incomes between 66% and 200% of the median household income. This means an annual income range of roughly $24,000 and $73,000 for one person. As

Spying on the Rich in Crazy Rich Asians and Moll Flanders

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In Crazy Rich Asians (2013), Kevin Kwan offers us a window into a world of wealth capable of altering the very ontological condition of the characters who enjoy it. Reading Kwan’s novel, I’m reminded of Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1722).