Roxana: Or The Fortunate Mistress              -     Edited By: Angus Ross
    By: Daniel Defoe
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Roxana: Or The Fortunate Mistress

Edited By: Angus Ross
Penguin Books / 1982 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 1982
Dimensions: 8.12 X 5.12 X 1.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0140431497
ISBN-13: 9780140431490

Publisher's Description

The final work of Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe 

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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author Bio

Daniel Defoe was born Daniel Foe in London in 1660. It was perhaps ineveitable that Defoe, an outspoken man, would become a political journalist. As a Puritan he believed God had given him a mission to print the truth, that is, to proselytize on religion and politics, and he became a prolific pamphleteer satirizing the hypocrisies of both Church and State. Defoe admired William III, and his poemThe True-Born Englishman (1701) won him the King's friendship. But an ill-timed satire on High Church extremists, The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, published during Queen Anne's reign, resulted in his being pilloried and imprisoned for seditious libel in 1703. 

At fifty-nine Defoe turned to fiction, completing The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe(1719), partly based on the saga of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish sailor; Moll Flanders (1722); Colonel Jack (1722);A Journal of the Plague Years (1722); and Roxana or the Fortunate Mistress (1724).

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