Ben Eldridge's Reviews > 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 in Germany, Being the Person Known by the Name of the Lady Roxana in the Time of Charles II

Roxana by Daniel Defoe
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's review
Mar 05, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read from February 29 to March 06, 2012

Extremely dated morality tale which relies on little more than coincidence and one-dimensional characters. Related by a narrator, through the lens of the main character, the story reads as a rambling confessional which stops abruptly before reaching a conclusion (this edition uses the first edition text; later editions were apparently editorially altered to make the ending more conclusively morally pointed). There are chronological and logical issues within the narrative, and the self-estrangement of the main character feels inconsistent and contrived. This edition features an excellent introductory essay by John Mullan, which provides a context for much of the preceding criticism, but the novel itself is only interesting historically.

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