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Roxana, Or The Fortunate Mistress

Or, The Fortunate Mistress

Daniel Defoe - Author

David Blewett - Editor

Paperback | $16.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780140431490 | 416 pages | 24 Jun 1982 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
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The decline and defeat of a woman fatally tempted by the sinful glamour of immorality.

Roxana (1724) was Defoe's last novel. It is a fascinating work, simultaneously strange and tragic, which dramatizes the moral deterioration and degradation of its complex heroine. Mlle Beleau, or Roxana as she becomes known, enters upon a career as a courtesan. She passes from one protector to another in England, France and Holland and amasses much wealth. But she is fatally torn between the dull virtue of middle-class respectability and the evil attractions of the beckoning city lights.

The only one of Defoe's novels that does not end with the triumph of its protagonist, Roxana is nevertheless a triumphant work of art. It is of enormous historical and social interest, highlighting as it does the complex relationship that existed in Defoe's time between public respectability and private corruption.