Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress by Daniel Defoe
Dramatized by Allan England
Directed by Phillip Martin
BBC Radio 4 - Monday Play - 23.12.1991
Length 2 hrs

Dramatization of Daniel Defoe's final novel.(1724)


The novel concerns the story of an unnamed "fallen woman", the second time Defoe wrote about this theme after Moll Flanders. In the book, a woman who takes on various pseudonyms, including "Roxana," describes her fall from wealth, thanks to a "fool" of a husband, and movement into prostitution upon his abandonment. The woman moves up and down through the social spectrum various times, by contracting an ersatz marriage to a jeweller, secretly courting a prince and marrying a Dutch merchant, being finally able to afford her own freedom by accumulating wealth from these men. The novel examines the possibility of eighteenth century women owning their own estate despite a patriarchal society and draws attention to the incompatibility between sexual freedom and freedom from motherhood -- the woman becomes pregnant many times due to her sexual exploits and it is one of her children who comes back to expose her, years later,in the closing scenes of the novel.


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