Moll Flanders is born to a mother who has been convicted of a felony and who is transported to America soon after her birth. As an infant, Moll lives on public charity, under the care of a kind widow who teaches her manners and needlework. She grows into a beautiful teenager and is seduced at an early age. Abandoned by her first lover, she is compelled to marry his younger brother. He dies after a few years, and she marries a draper who soon flees the country as a fugitive from the law. She marries yet again and moves to America, only to find out that her husband is actually her half-brother. She leaves him in disgust and returns to England, where she becomes the mistress of a man whose wife has gone insane. He renounces his affair with Moll after a religious experience.