Daniel Defoe: The Fortunate Mistress; or Roxana

(2062 words)

Defoe's Roxana, like his Moll Flanders, trades upon the appetite for apparently autobiographical thieves' tales and contes scandaleuses which appeared in early capitalist London, and which survives in modern celebrity magazines, newspapers and airport novels. The issues Defoe addresses, however, were more sharply felt in 1721 as capitalism had only recently been released from monarchical control by the Glorious Revolution (q.v.) and the “Financial Revolution” was inducing rapid changes in daily life and social institutions. The original title of the novel -- The Fortunate Mistress, A History of the Life and Vast Variety of Fortunes of Mademoiselle de Beleau, Afterwards call'd the Countess of Wintelsheim, in …

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Citation:
Clark, Robert. "The Fortunate Mistress; or Roxana". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=824, accessed 21 November 2014.]