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.
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About Daniel Defoe
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… More about Daniel Defoe
Published by Penguin Classics Jun 24, 1982| 416 Pages| ISBN 9780140431490