Roxana The Fortunate Mistress Daniel Defoe Folio Society 2010


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Roxana by Daniel Defoe

Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress Or, a History of the Life and Vast Varities of Fortunes of Mademoiselle de Beleau, Afterwards Call’d the Countess de Wintselsheim, in Germany. Being the Person known by the Name of the Lady Roxana, in the Time of King Charles II. Written in 1724, Roxana is Daniel Defoe’s final and most satisfying novel, an ebullient first-person account of the ‘wicked life’ of Mademoiselle Beleau. Born in France and brought to England as a child during the purge of the Huguenots, she is witty, pretty, wealthy – married.. ‘Never, Ladies,’ she insists,’ marry a Fool.’ After squandering their wealth, her ‘Fool’ abandons her and their five children. Tempted and flattered by the lures of wealthy men, she too leaves the children to become the glamorous courtesan ‘Roxana’, a name taken from the seductive Turkish dance she performs. Despite gaining enormous wealth, prestige and even a new and respectable husband, Roxana is unable either to stifle the pangs of guilt or truly repent. Finally, enmeshed in the consequences of her own actions, Roxana suffers the ‘blast of heaven’ – as her deserted daughter returns.

The novel’s drama lies both in her ‘vast variety of fortunes’ and in her attempts to learn the bitter lessons of her life. While Roxana’s actions throughout the novel are governed by her awareness that everything has a price, she ultimately realises the true cost of her sacrifices.


  • Folio Society First Impression
  • Publisher Folio Society, London; 2010
  • Purple Cloth Hardback, 316 pp
  • Illustrations by Clare Melinsky
  • Size 240 x 160mm, 1.2kg

Condition: Fine – Superb Unmarked Copy

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Weight 1.2 kg


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