“Roxana” Defoe in brief summary

A happy courtesan, or a story of life and all the vicissitudes of Mademoiselle de Belo’s fate, later called the Countess de Vintelselsheim of Germany, she is a person known in the time of Charles II under the name of Lady Roxanne – Roman

The heroine, so magnificently represented on the title, was actually called Susan, which would be revealed by the end of the book, in an accidental clause. However, in her changeable life she changed the “roles” so many times that the name of Roxanne was fixed – according to the “role” played by her at her high point. But those scientists who are unaware of her real name are also right, declare her anonymous and make a conclusion about the heroine’s type: she is indeed a product of her time, a social type.

Generally speaking, Roxanne is French. She was born in the city of Poitiers, in the family of Huguenots. In 1683, when the girl was about ten years old, parents, fleeing religious persecution, moved with her to England. Therefore, the year of her birth – 1673-th. At the age of fifteen, her father married her to a London brewer; he, the useless owner, for eight years of marriage squandered the dowry’s wife, sold the brewery and one morning left the yard with two servants and left for ever, leaving his wife and children small. An unfortunate marriage gives the case of an “ambulance” and a smart lady heroine to classify “fools”, of which her husband combined several varieties at once, and warn readers of a rash decision to link fate to one of these.

Her situation is deplorable. Relatives of the escaped husband refuse to help, only loyal servant Amy remains with her. To her and to two compassionate old women comes to mind to take the four children to the house of their uncle and aunt and, literally pushing them through the threshold, to run away. This plan is carried out, shamed by conscientious uncle relatives decide to take care of the babies together.

Meanwhile, Roxana continues to stay in the house, and moreover: the owner does not ask for payment, sympathizing with her miserable situation, has all kinds of help. Clever Amy laughs that such participation is hardly selfless and her mistress will have to pay in a certain way. So it happens. After jokingly initiated “wedding dinner,” convinced by Amy’s arguments in the fairness of the harassment of her benefactor, Roxane concedes to him, accompanying the victim with a vague self-justification. It is no longer a joke, but a “contract” is also seriously drawn up, where detailed and accurately stipulated money and things guarantee the material security to the heroine.

Not to say that it easily experiences its decline, although it is necessary to take into account the corrective assessments in hindsight, which Roxanne’s “late”, who is mired in vice, seems to be full of sincere repentance. The symptom of the impending moral deafness is the seduction of “faithful Amy” by her, which she puts to bed with her companion. When it turns out that Amy has become pregnant, Roxana, feeling guilty, decides to “take this child and take care of her own.” About her own children, we know, others care, so that this girl will be fused with the wet nurse, and nothing more will be said about her. Roxana herself only in the third year a girl is born, and a year later a boy will be born.

Among the occupations of her lover is the resale of jewelry. Affairs require his departure to Paris, Roxanne rides with him. One day he is going to Versailles to the Prince *** of the skom. Roxane embraces an unhappy premonition, she tries to hold it, but the jeweler bound by the word leaves, and three robbers kill him on the way to Versailles in broad daylight. Roxanne has no legitimate rights to the heiress, but with her stones and bills, in a word, her situation can not be compared to the nonentity from which her deceased benefactor raised her. Yes, and Roxanne is now another – sober business woman, she with rare self-control suits her business. For example, a young London manager who appears in time appears to her to be a Frenchwoman, the widow of his master, who was unaware of the existence of another, English wife, and competently requires a “widow’s share.”

The prince, who did not wait on that ill-fated day of the jeweler, shows Roxane sympathy, first sending her valet, and then appearing herself. The result of the visit was an annual pension for the entire period of her stay in Paris and with an unusually fast growing relationship with the prince. Naturally, she becomes his mistress, on what occasion is already compulsory morality for the edification of “unhappy women.” Their relationship will last eight years, Roxana will give birth to the prince of two children. Amy’s faithful mirror, her faithful mirror, tempts the valet’s prince, adding belated remorse to the mistress of the girl’s original seduction.

Dimensional life giroini unexpectedly fails: in the Medon Palace Dauphin, where Roxana races with her prince, she sees among the guards her missing husband, the brewer. Fearing revelation, she sends Amy to him, she composes a pitiful story about the fallen into extreme poverty and vanished into the unknown to the mistress. Still a jerk and a slacker, the brewer is trying to draw from Amy a fairly large amount – allegedly to purchase an officer’s license, but is satisfied with a single “loan” gun, after which he carefully avoids it. By insuring himself against further undesirable encounters, Roxanne hires a detective to “watch over all his movements.” And until the time she lost him again, this time with incredible relief.

Meanwhile, the prince receives from the king an order to go to Italy. As usual, nobly broke, Roxana accompanies him. Amy remains in Paris guarding the property. The journey lasted almost two years. In Venice she gave birth to the prince of the second boy, but he soon died. On her return to Paris, about a year later, she gave birth to her third son. Their relationship is interrupted, following the fickle logic of her unlucky life: the prince’s wife was dangerously wounded and on her deathbed asked her husband to remain faithful to his successor. Struck by her generosity, the prince falls into melancholy, closes in solitude and leaves Roxana, taking over the costs of raising their sons. Having decided to return to England and not knowing how to dispose of her property, Roxana finds a Dutch merchant “famous for her wealth and honesty.” He gives good advice and even undertakes to sell her jewelry to a familiar Jewish money-lender. The moneylender immediately recognizes the stones of the jeweler, killed eight years ago, then declared stolen, and, of course, he suspects Roxane of an accomplice of the murderers who have escaped. The threat of a moneylender to “investigate this case” frightens her in earnest. Fortunately, he devotes a Dutch merchant in his plans, and he already trembled before the charms of Roxanne and fuses her in Rotterdam, arranging, meanwhile, her property affairs and leading the usurer’s nose.

At sea the storm is played out, before his ferocity Amy bitterly repents of her dissolute life, Roxana silently echoes it, giving promises to completely change. The ship refers to England, and on land their repentance is soon forgotten. In the Netherlands, Roxanne is sent alone. The Rotterdam merchant, whom the Dutch merchant recommended to her, happily arranges her business, including with dangerous stones. Six months pass in these efforts. From Amy’s letters, she learns that the brewer husband, as Amy’s friend, the valet of the prince, found out, died in some kind of brawl. Then it turns out that Amy thought up this of the best feelings, wishing her lady a new marriage. The husband “fool” will die, but much later. Writes to her from Paris and the benefactor is a Dutch merchant who has endured much trouble from a moneylender. Raskapyvaya biography of Roxanne, he is dangerously selected to the prince, but then they stop it: on the New Bridge in Paris, two unknown people cut off his ears and threatened with further trouble if he did not crawl. For his part, protecting his own peace, an honest merchant drives a scam and settles a usurer into jail, and then, away from sin, he himself leaves Paris for Rotterdam, for Roxane.

They are drawing closer. Honest merchant offers marriage, Roxanne refuses to him. But she explains her refusal to aversion to marriage after the misadventures to which her husband’s death is doomed. The Negciant, however, guesses the true cause and promises her complete financial independence in marriage – he will not touch either the pistol from her condition. Roxane has to invent another reason, namely, the desire for spiritual freedom. In her speeches, she shows herself to be a sophisticated sophist, however, and to retreat to her late to go out of fear of being caught in greed. The frustrated merchant returns to Paris, Roxanne rides “to try her luck” in London. She settles in a fashionable area, Pel-Mel, next to the palace park, “under the name of a noble Frenchwoman.” Strictly speaking, it is always nameless until now. She lives on a broad leg, rumor further multiplies her wealth, she is besieged by “dowry hunters.” In managing her condition, Sir Robert Clayton helps her sensibly. In passing, Defoe tells the “English nobles” how they could multiply their state, “just as merchants increase theirs.”

The heroine turns a new page of her biography: the doors of her house open for “high-ranking grandees”, she arranges evenings with card games and masquerade balls, one of them is incognito, in the mask, is the king himself. The heroine appears before the assembly in a Turkish suit and performs a Turkish dance, plunging everyone into amazement. Then someone and exclaimed – “Why, it’s Roxanne herself!” – so giving finally the heroine’s name. This period is the peak of her career: the next three years she spends in the company of the king – “away from the world,” as she declares with a coquettishly self-satisfied modesty. She returns to a society fabulously rich, slightly faded, but still able to win hearts. And soon there is a “gentleman of a noble family” who led the attack. True, he started foolishly, arguing “about love, subject,

In the image of Roxanne met two times, two epochs – Restoration, with its caricature and unprincipledness, and the puritanical sobering that followed with the accession of Wilhelm III and further strengthened under Anna and Georges. Defoe was a contemporary of all these monarchs. The lewd life to which Roxane is betrayed, having returned from Paris to London, is the embodiment of the Restoration itself. On the contrary, the crocheting calculation of all the benefits provided by this life is already far from aristocratic, it is typically a bourgeois fold, akin to a merchant’s ledger.

In London, the story of Roxanne ties up truly dramatic knots, a bargain with her past. She finally became interested in the fate of her five children, left fifteen years ago at the mercy of relatives. The eldest son and the youngest daughter have already died, the youngest son and two of his sisters, the older and the middle, left the ungenerous aunt and determined “into people”. Roxana’s calculations do not include opening to children and in general to relatives and friends, and all necessary searches are carried out by Amy. The son, “glorious, clever and courteous fellow”, apprentice, did the hard work. Introducing the former maid of the unfortunate mother of these children, Amy arranges the fate of the... boy: he buys from the owner and defines in training, preparing for a merchant’s career. These benefits have an unexpected outcome; one of Roxanne’s servants returns from the city in tears, and from inquiries, Amy concludes that this is Roxana’s eldest daughter, depressed by her brother’s luck! Hanging on a trifling occasion, Amy expects the girl. By and large, the removal of the daughter suits Roxane, but her heart is now restless – in it, it turns out, “there was still a lot of maternal feeling.” Amy also here unobtrusively relieves the situation of the unhappy girl.

With the advent of a daughter in the life of a heroine, a turning point is indicated. She “has become dumb” milord ***, from whom she is already the eighth year on the maintenance, they part. Roxanne begins “to judge her past fairly”. Among the culprits of her fall, in addition to the need, one more is declared – the Devil, who was screaming-her ghost of need already in the best of circumstances. And greed for money, and vanity are all his intrigues. She has already moved from Pel-Mel to Kensington, quietly interrupting old acquaintances, trying to finish with the “abominable and vile” craft. Her last London address is the courtyard near Mineriz, on the outskirts of the city, in the Quaker’s house that left for New England. A significant role in changing the address is played by the desire to insure against the daughter’s visit, Susan, – the latter already has a short relationship with Amy. Roxana even changes her appearance, dressing up in a modest Quaker outfit. And of course, she goes here under a false name. The image of the hostess, the “good Quaker”, was discharged with a warm sympathy – Defoe had reasons to treat the representatives of this sect well. So desired by Roxana, the deceased, the right life nevertheless does not bring peace to her soul – she now bitterly regrets the separation from the “Dutch merchant”. Amy goes to explore in Paris. In the meantime, the hastened fate sets the merchant Roxane right in London: it turns out that he lives here for a long time. It seems that this time the merchant’s unforgiving matrimonial intentions will be crowned with success, especially since they have a son growing up, both painfully experiencing his lack of nationality, and finally, Roxanne can not forget how much this person has done for her. The image of the hostess, the “good Quaker”, was discharged with a warm sympathy – Defoe had reasons to treat the representatives of this sect well. So desired by Roxana, the deceased, the right life nevertheless does not bring peace to her soul – she now bitterly regrets the separation from the “Dutch merchant”. Amy goes to explore in Paris. In the meantime, the hastened fate sets the merchant Roxane right in London: it turns out that he lives here for a long time. It seems that this time the merchant’s unforgiving matrimonial intentions will be crowned with success, especially since they have a son growing up, both painfully experiencing his lack of nationality, and finally, Roxanne can not forget how much this person has done for her. The image of the hostess, the “good Quaker”, was discharged with a warm sympathy – Defoe had reasons to treat the representatives of this sect well. So desired by Roxana, the deceased, the right life nevertheless does not bring peace to her soul – she now bitterly regrets the separation from the “Dutch merchant”. Amy goes to explore in Paris. In the meantime, the hastened fate sets the merchant Roxane right in London: it turns out that he lives here for a long time. It seems that this time the merchant’s unforgiving matrimonial intentions will be crowned with success, especially since they have a son growing up, both painfully experiencing his lack of nationality, and finally, Roxanne can not forget how much this person has done for her. right life nevertheless does not bring peace to her soul – now she bitterly regrets the separation from the “Dutch merchant”. Amy goes to explore in Paris. In the meantime, the hastened fate sets the merchant Roxane right in London: it turns out that he lives here for a long time. It seems that this time the merchant’s unforgiving matrimonial intentions will be crowned with success, especially since they have a son growing up, both painfully experiencing his lack of nationality, and finally, Roxanne can not forget how much this person has done for her. right life nevertheless does not bring peace to her soul – now she bitterly regrets the separation from the “Dutch merchant”. Amy goes to explore in Paris. In the meantime, the hastened fate sets the merchant Roxane right in London: it turns out that he lives here for a long time. It seems that this time the merchant’s unforgiving matrimonial intentions will be crowned with success, especially since they have a son growing up, both painfully experiencing his lack of nationality, and finally, Roxanne can not forget how much this person has done for her.

A new complication: in another “report” from France, Amy reports that Roxane is wanted by the prince, intending to give her the title of countess and marry her. The vanity of the former royal mistress flares with unprecedented force. With the merchant is a cooling game. Luckily for the heroine, she does not have time to push him away from her again, for further reports of Amy deprive her of the hope to ever be called “Your Highness.” As if guessing about her ambitious claims, the merchant promises her, in case of marriage, the title of Baroness in England or in Holland – the Countess. Eventually she will receive both titles. The option with Holland suits her more: staying in England, she runs the risk that her past can become a famous merchant. In addition, Susan, a clever girl, comes to the conclusion that if not Amy, then Lady Roxana herself is her mother, and she puts her thoughts to Amy. At Amy, all the transmitting Roxane, in her heart a desire to kill the “girl” bursts out. Shocked Roxana for a while does not let her into his eyes, but the word is said. Events hasten the departure of the couple to Holland, where, Roxanne believes, neither her daughter, who accidentally became her first enemy, will not get her, nor other ghosts of the past will be tempted by her now respectable life. Fatal accident, which many in this novel, overtakes her in a moment of pre-eminent trouble, the wife of the captain of the ship, with whom negotiations are being conducted, turns out to be Susan’s girlfriend, and she comes on board, scared to death Roxane. And although the daughter does not recognize her and, of course, does not associate with the guest in the Quaker’s house, the trip to Holland is postponed. in the hearts of the desire to kill the “girl.” Shocked Roxana for a while does not let her into his eyes, but the word is said. Events hasten the departure of the couple to Holland, where, Roxanne believes, neither her daughter, who accidentally became her first enemy, will not get her, nor other ghosts of the past will be tempted by her now respectable life. Fatal accident, which many in this novel, overtakes her in a moment of pre-eminent trouble, the wife of the captain of the ship, with whom negotiations are being conducted, turns out to be Susan’s girlfriend, and she comes on board, scared to death Roxane. And although the daughter does not recognize her and, of course, does not associate with the guest in the Quaker’s house, the trip to Holland is postponed. in the hearts of the desire to kill the “girl.” Shocked Roxana for a while does not let her into his eyes, but the word is said. Events hasten the departure of the couple to Holland, where, Roxanne believes, neither her daughter, who accidentally became her first enemy, will not get her, nor other ghosts of the past will be tempted by her now respectable life. Fatal accident, which many in this novel, overtakes her in a moment of pre-eminent trouble, the wife of the captain of the ship, with whom negotiations are being conducted, turns out to be Susan’s girlfriend, and she comes on board, scared to death Roxane. And although the daughter does not recognize her and, of course, does not associate with the guest in the Quaker’s house, the trip to Holland is postponed. neither her daughter, who accidentally became her first enemy, will not get her, nor the other ghosts of the past will be tempted by her now respectable life. Fatal accident, which many in this novel, overtakes her in a moment of pre-eminent trouble, the wife of the captain of the ship, with whom negotiations are being conducted, turns out to be Susan’s girlfriend, and she comes on board, scared to death Roxane. And although the daughter does not recognize her and, of course, does not associate with the guest in the Quaker’s house, the trip to Holland is postponed. neither her daughter, who accidentally became her first enemy, will not get her, nor the other ghosts of the past will be tempted by her now respectable life. Fatal accident, which many in this novel, overtakes her in a moment of pre-eminent trouble, the wife of the captain of the ship, with whom negotiations are being conducted, turns out to be Susan’s girlfriend, and she comes on board, scared to death Roxane. And although the daughter does not recognize her and, of course, does not associate with the guest in the Quaker’s house, the trip to Holland is postponed.

Susan is besieging the Quakera house, intending to meet Amy and her mistress, who confidently assumes her mother. No longer afflicted daughter love moves her, but hunting excitement and revelatory pathos. Roxana leaves the apartment, hides in the resort towns, keeping in touch only with Amy and the Quaker, who begins to suspect the evil, telling all the stories about Susan Susan in her house about her situation and feeling in a collusion situation. Meanwhile, frightened no less than her mistress happening, Amy accidentally meets in the city of Susan, travels with her to Greenwich, they are vigorously explained, and the girl stops the walk on time, not letting herself be dragged into the forest. Amy’s intentions still furious with Roxanne, she drives her away, having lost her faithful friend in such a difficult moment in her life.

The final of this story is shrouded in gloomy tones: nothing is heard about Amy and nothing is heard about the girl, and after all the last time, according to rumors, they were seen together. Mindful of Amy’s maniacal desire to “protect” Susan, one can assume the worst.

In absentia, showering the blessings of her less persistent children, Roxana sails to Holland, lives there “with all the splendor and splendor.” At the same time, Amy will follow her there, but their meeting is outside the book, just like the “heavenly wrath” that pissed them off. Their misadventures were devoted to the forged continuation, published in 1745, that is, fourteen years after the death of Defoe. It tells how Amy managed to imprison Susan in a debt prison, leaving from which she is in Holland and exposes both. The honest man, who finally opens his eyes, expels Roxane from the house, deprives him of any hereditary rights, gives Susan a good marriage. In Roxanne’s “continuation”, the beggar dies in prison, and Amy, having a bad illness, also dies in poverty.


“Roxana” Defoe in brief summary