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Roxana

Roxana

Geschrieben von Daniel Defoe

Erzählt von Juanita McMahon


Roxana

Geschrieben von Daniel Defoe

Erzählt von Juanita McMahon

Bewertungen:
3/5 (11 Bewertungen)
Länge:
15 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
3. Okt. 2013
ISBN:
9781471245145
Format:
Hörbuch

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Beschreibung

Beautiful, proud Roxana is terrified of being poor. When her husband leaves her penniless with five children, she must choose between being a virtuous beggar or a rich whore. Embarking on a career as a courtesan and kept woman, Roxana passes from man to man in order to maintain her lavish, glamorous lifestyle. But this life comes at a cost; she is torn between sinful prosperity and the respectability she craves.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
3. Okt. 2013
ISBN:
9781471245145
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als ebook verfügbareBook

Über den Autor

Daniel Defoe was born at the beginning of a period of history known as the English Restoration, so-named because it was when King Charles II restored the monarchy to England following the English Civil War and the brief dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell. Defoe’s contemporaries included Isaac Newton and Samuel Pepys.


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3.1
11 Bewertungen / 11 Rezensionen
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  • (4/5)
    Daniel Defoe published all of the great works of fiction that he is remembered for today in a span of a half decade between 1719 and 1724. Prior to this he was a noted journalist. This period began with the famous Adventures of Robinson Crusoe and ended with his final novel, Roxana or The Fortunate Mistress, in 1724. It is supposed to be a biography of one Madamoselle Beleau, the lovely daughter of French Protestant refugees, brought up in England and married to a good-for-nothing son of an English brewer.Roxana's husband squanders his property and abandons his wife and five children. She enters upon a career of a mistress, first to the landlord in whose house she and her husband were renting, and then to a series of wealthy aristocrats and businessmen in three countries, England, France and Holland. She acquires her name of "Roxana," traditionally given to stage actresses, after she had returned to London from Europe, having become a famous courtesan.She is accompanied in her adventures by a faithful maid, Amy, a very lively, attractive and intelligent woman. After many adventures with many men and women, most of whom amazingly, are good decent people who do not take advantage of a beautiful abandoned woman in distress (hence the title of the story—"The Fortunate Mistress"), she finally marries a Dutch merchant who has been her long time lover and friend and even the father to one of her sons. However, in a rather a hurried end to the story, the husband discovers the deceitful and immoral life his wife has led and dies shortly after leaving a her a small sum of money.Interestingly, the ending of Roxana is shrouded in dispute. In Defoe's original version the protagonist does not die, but repents for the life she has lived, and that too—according to Roxana herself—only because she comes to an unhappy end after the death of her husband. However, the book, because it was published anonymously (as was often the case with fictitious histories in those days) and then went through several questionable editions, later interpolators gave the story various endings, all of which has the protagonist die repenting her life full of sins. Even more interesting, and important for the future of fiction, is Defoe's focus upon the interior drama of Roxana's moral decay, the psychological turmoil of a woman who willfully chooses the glamorous life of a courtesan over the duller, but honorable, life of a married woman. The result of her decision leads to a downward spiral from which she is unable to escape. Thus Defoe's last novel is his one and only tragedy.
  • (2/5)
    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 struggle to avoid marriage to keep control of her wealth. Of course, today it is a lot harder to lose someone (or to be lost yourself), so many of Roxana's problems would never have happened n the first place.So, it is what it is. I do wonder who read this book c1724. I can't believe it was women and families--or would Roxana's behavior not be seen as shocking as much as offensive? Or was this written for men to read in clubs, and to laugh with their friends about? I should look into this.
  • (2/5)
    This was not a wholly enjoyable read. It had passages that were really well constructed, but the overall was not effective. Roxana narrates her history and it starts out as she marries a brewer who is handsome but not much else. They have 5 children and fall on hard times. Some of that is their own fault, some of it is misfortune, but it ends up as the same thing. They are so hard pressed that the husband does a bunk. Roxana knows not whether he has left or died and so struggles on with the children and her servant, Amy. Then their landlord comes on the scene and starts to take advantage of Roxana, offering her money and lodging is she sleeps with him. And so beings Roxana's search of wealth at the expense of her virtue and standing. She is thoroughly mercenary, when her landlord (who turns out to be a Jeweler) is murdered in Paris, she simply keeps all his possessions, and tells the executors that the jewels they seek must have been stolen in the murder. From there she progresses to a prince close to the court of Paris, but who is not French. She bears him a son and then he ceases to have her as his mistress after the death of his virtuous wife. She seeks to take all her wealth to England, and so engages a merchant to help her. He turns out to be unusually honest, helping her take her wealth abroad and then offering to marry her. She, like a fool, turns him down. Arriving in England, Roxana sets her cap at being the mistress of the King. She does find a high ranking man to be her mistress, but it doesn't seem to be the King. By some prudent investing and a sound financial advisor, she makes her fortune increase. A lucky chance sees her meet the merchant again, and this time they do marry and she comes into his (bought) titles. Only now things being to go awry. She finds out her children from her first marriage, and one of the girls turns out to be a servant in her own household. So, by trying to keep the truth from her, Roxana gets into all sorts of lies and muddles. She is afraid of being found out and so will go to almost any lengths to prevent that form happening. Amy is of the same mind and so thing unravel somewhat in England. At the book's end there is some tale of things not being at their most fortunate and I found it hard to have any sympathy. Roxana appears to be rather cold hearted. You hear nothing of some of the children she has, they simple vanish off to someone to care for them. She came into considerable wealth but didn't try and find them due to some scruples about their knowing she was a whore. Only the protest doesn't ring true. She seems too self centered to be really caring and doesn't take the opportunity to find them when she has amassed a moderate sum, but goes to some lengths that they do no know her when she has a large fortune. I was left wondering how it would all turn out, and hoping that Roxana did, indeed, get her comeuppance. Not a rounded character, she's not very sympathetic or very human. Not, I hope, one of Defoe's best and not one I will return to.
  • (4/5)
    Took a while to get into but after a while started to thoroughly enjoy... but the ending and the wonder about it's authorship. Accepting that Defoe may not have finished writing the book itself I still found it a real come down ... took a few days to get over. I didn't find the book predictable at all. As to Roxana's opinion of herself, well I can't say that I'm sure that Defoe meant this as a real moral story at all or whether he was questioning the values in society at the time of writing particularly with reference to sexuality and the feminine in society. The version of Christianity presented is also questioned. Obviously the ending makes a lot of difference but Defoe's point of departure still leaves our female protagonist with troubles undoubtedly arising from her choice of lifestyle. The book also contains some dubious dating. I read the Public Domain version, " The Fortunate Mistress..." with intro by G.H. Maynadier.
  • (3/5)
    I'm glad women have come farther than this!
  • (4/5)
    "Roxana" takes a big breath and begins her narrative - and appears to not take another until the end. There are no chapters - just a need to get her story told. Although sometimes a little tedious I was also compelled to keep reading ."Roxana" abandoned by her husband and, left poor and starving, is no longer able to support her 5 children who she abandons. Because of her youthful beauty, she eventually improves her circumstances by becoming mistress to various wealthy men. (HavIng more children that she does not raise). Her greatest love is money. Her close companion and support. Is her "maid" Amy, Eventually as a middle aged woman, and at the end of her narrative, she must face her past.
  • (2/5)
    I slogged through this while reviewing 30 other books for my written exams, so I may not have been in the best possible mood to enjoy literature.
  • (1/5)
    The 18th century "1,001 books..." march through whoredom continues with another whore whoring her way around the Whorenited Kingdom. Who finds this claptrap, pun intended, entertaining? Certainly I don't. Defoe is still a deft storytelling hand, but I'm done with the whores who are also part-time accountants tallying every penny that their whoredom earns them. The only thing that sets this one apart is that as she descends further and further into her self-made happily-ever-during-but-collapse-at-the-end life is that throughout, she is constantly contemplative of her actions. Big deal. She's still a decrepit moral morass, and Mr. Boxall, I can't read any more like this. How is this a contribution to literature?
  • (5/5)
    An excellent edition on good paper, mocked up inside like the first edition with the original spelling, with sensible notes and a knowledgable introduction, which, it should be noted, should not be glimpsed by a first time reader as it gives away the ending.Hopefully none of my friends will ever read this novel. Roxana is so like me that they might come to know me all too well.
  • (4/5)
    A slow but powerful read. Defoe was so ahead of his times with this work.
  • (4/5)
    As with Moll Flanders, Dafoe’s point of view is the first-person singular. Once again, a man (Defoe) tells the story through the eyes and heart of a woman (Susan — if the single mention of that name on p. 233 is our cue). And the name ‘Roxana’? Shouted out in praise of Susan’s appearance — then dance, in full Turkish regalia — at a party of courtly notables (on p. 200).

    The name stuck — and would haunt Defoe’s heroine for the rest of her natural life.

    While not so much an object of poverty and pity as Moll Flanders, Susan — alias Roxana (“the Fortunate Mistress”) — is still an object. As she herself puts it: “Thus far I am a standing mark of the weakness of great men in their vice, that value not squandering away immense wealth upon the most worthless creatures; or, to sum it up in a word, they raise the value of the object which they pretend to pitch upon by their fancy — I say, raise the value of it at their own expense, give vast presents for a ruinous favor which is so far from being equal to the price, that nothing will at least prove more absurd than the cost men are at to purchase their own destruction” (pp. 82 – 83).

    Much further on in her story, we find this additional rumination: “…the question remained still unanswered, why am I a whore now? Nor indeed had I anything to say for myself, even to myself. I could not without blushing, as wicked as I was, answer that I loved it for the sake of the vice, and that I delighted in being a whore as such — I say I could not say this even to myself, and all alone, nor indeed would it have been true. I was never able in justice and with truth to say I was so wicked as that, but as necessity first debauched me and poverty made me a whore at the beginning, so excess of avarice for getting money and excess of vanity continued me in the crime, not being able to resist the flatteries of great persons… These were my baits, these the chains by which the devil held me bound, and by which I was indeed too fast held for any reasoning that I was then mistress of to deliver me from” (p. 230).

    And finally, we have this self-critical observation (on p. 341): “Another reflection was, how just it is that sin and shame follow one another so constantly at the heels, that they are not like attendants only, but like cause and consequence, necessarily connected one with another; that the crime going before, the scandal is certain to follow and that ‘tis not in the power of human nature to conceal the first or avoid the last.”

    “Sin and shame” are indeed the subject-matter of Roxana, The Fortunate Mistress. And while deciphering Defoe’s prose (which I have accurately transcribed above) is not nearly the challenge it was in Moll Flanders, that same prose is nevertheless of another era — and no picnic for the reader.

    The principal difference, as I see it, between Susan/Roxana and Moll: that Moll is the victim of her undoing; Susan/Roxana, the agent. Both women act so as to improve their unhappy conditions. But Susan/Roxana would appear to be more conscious of the consequences of her actions, while Moll simply rebounds from one catastrophe to another.

    And what do they have in common at the end? Doom.

    RRB
    10/30/13
    Brooklyn, NY