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The Fortunate Mistress or Roxana

Daniel Defoe

Book Overview: 

The full title of the novel is Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress Or, a History of the Life and Vast Variety of Fortunes of Mademoiselle de Beleau, Afterwards Called the Countess de Wintselsheim. The novel concerns the story of an unnamed "fallen woman", the second time Defoe created such a character (the first was a similar female character in Moll Flanders). In Roxana, a woman who takes on various pseudonyms, including "Roxana," describes her fall from wealth thanks to abandonment by a "fool" of a husband and movement into prostitution upon his abandonment. Roxana moves up and down through the social spectrum several times. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I was satisfied that I was not deceived; when one morning early, when we were in bed together, I said to him, "My lord, I doubt your Highness never gives yourself leave to think what the case should be if I should have the honour to be with child by you." "Why, my dear," says he, "we are able to keep it if such a thing should happen; I hope you are not concerned about that." "No, my lord," said I; "I should think myself very happy if I could bring your Highness a son; I should hope to see him a lieutenant-general of the king's armies by the interest of his father, and by his own merit." "Assure yourself,[Pg 112] child," says he, "if it should be so, I will not refuse owning him for my son, though it be, as they call it, a natural son; and shall never slight or neglect him, for the sake of his mother." Then he began to importune me to know if it was so, but I positively denied it so long, till at last I was able to give him the satisfaction of knowing it himself by the moti. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book has the most modern, compelling and insightful argument about why women of 1724 were better to stay unmarried, which is an absolute must read and highlights all Roxana's strengths. I promise, the rest of the novel is NOTHING like this. If you're interested in checking it out, skip to th...more

In the realm of odd comparisons to make between books, here’s one: This one and Interview With The Vampire. Not because there are any vampires or anything (obviously), but because of my feelings toward the respective protagonists. The main thing I remember about reading Interview is how much Loui...more

When Roxana strips her maid and forces the girl into bed with Roxana's own lover, she can reflect after the fact that she did this because she was unwilling to let her maid be morally superior to her. "...As I thought myself a Whore," she explains, "I cannot say that it was something design'd in...more

Roxanne !!! put on the red light... put on the red light...

Indeed, Roxana has exceptional success in the mistress/pussypower business, becoming an independent lady in a world where men control commerce and political power. Defoe explores the role and viability of female Authority in a man's world...more

Oh! It's so deliciously old! Sentences that stretch for paragraphs; seemingly random capitalization scattered about the pages! And yet, it is so human a story you can hardly believe the creature that called themselves humans in the 1720s could have so much in common with you, your very self. Ever...more

Books for university are not always the best read. This book do have a fascinating, interesting and perfect woman villain though, just like in Moll Flanders. She was both incredibly frustrating and funny in how manipulative, devious, selfish and self-centered she was.

My last of the Defoe books on the 1001 books list!

So, this book is nearly 300 years old. And it feels like it. The language is dated and took some getting used to. The scandals wouldn't be so scandalous (not that I would want to be friends with "Roxana") today. And today, Roxana would not have to...more

I loved this book SO MUCH!!!! I have to say that the end is a bit weird... I didn't expect it to end this way but I didn't hate it anyway. It is very well written, so pleasurable to read. Roxana is one of the best character I have ever known, she's SO feminist and I loved her badass side. She hat...more

Okay so, I would have never read this if it hadn’t been on the 1001 Books to Read Before you Die list. I’m glad that it’s on the list!
I was amused by Lady Roxana’s antics, and feel that this was mere child’s play compared to modern morality. It gives you a perspective of how strict and stressful...more

Daniel Defoe, the popular 1700s smut peddler, is back with another sexy story about sexy sluts having sex - and this one might be his dirtiest yet! Roxana offers her maid up for sexual purposes to her lover! She dresses like a harem slave and puts on sexy little dance numbers! It's not as dirty a...more

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