Daniel Defoe (/?dænj?l d?'fo?/; ca. 1660 – 24 April 1731), born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy, now most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain, and, along with others such as Samuel Richardson, is among the founders of the English novel. A prolific and versatile writer, he wrote more than 500 books, pamphlets and journals on various topics (including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology and the supernatural). He was also a pioneer of economic journalism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Defoe
Moll, which she emphasizes is not her birth name, though she never does reveal what it was, is raised until she is teenager in America by a foster mother. She then gets a job as a household servant where she is loved by both of the families sons. The oldest convinces her to "act as if they where married" in bed, but then is unwilling to marry her, and pawns her off on his younger brother. She is then widowed, and leaves her children behind to begin a new life. She pretends to be a fortuned widow to attract a man that will marry her and provide her with security.