Lady Roxana ou l'Heureuse Catin. Publié en 1724, Lady Roxana ou l'Heureuse Catin (également appelé Lady Roxana ou l'Heureuse Maîtresse) est le dernier roman de Daniel Defoe, le deuxième dont le narrateur est une femme qui écrit l'histoire de sa vie. Deux années plus tôt, Moll Flanders racontait les aventures d'une orpheline qui refuse que sa condition sociale l'oblige à n'être qu'une servante alors qu'elle veut devenir une grande dame, ce qui la conduit, après le mensonge, la prostitution, le vol, la prison et la déportation, à la richesse et la respectabilité.
Sa mise en cause de la société qui, par l'incurie de l'organisation politique, l'a poussée à la délinquance, est partagée par Roxana qui regrette elle aussi que les femmes aient si peu de latitude pour gérer leur vie. Abandonnée par son mari qui a dilapidé sa fortune et la laisse seule avec cinq enfants, elle n'a d'autre solution que de se séparer d'eux et de devenir la maîtresse d'un homme riche, puis d'un prince étranger. Le titre[modifier | modifier le code] Libertine. A libertine is one devoid of most moral or sexual restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctified by the larger society. Libertinism is described as an extreme form of hedonism. Libertines put value on physical pleasures, meaning those experienced through the senses.
As a philosophy, libertinism gained new-found adherents in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, particularly in France and Great Britain. Notable among these were John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, and the Marquis de Sade. History of the term The word "Libertine" was originally coined by John Calvin to negatively describe opponents of his policies in Geneva, Switzerland. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the term became more associated with debauchery. Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand wrote that Joseph Bonaparte "sought only life's pleasures and easy access to libertinism" while on the throne of Naples.
Teaching Defoe’s Roxana | Teaching College Literature. Laura Alexander, High Point University Anyone who has ever tried teaching Daniel Defoe’s Roxana (1724) to undergraduates will most likely find it challenging. The heroine is, quite simply, unlikeable.
A distinct possibility that she murders her child, Susan (or has her maid, Amy, commit the crime) alienates her from most readers, and Defoe directs us not to like her before the narrative “officially” begins. As a kept woman whose perspective is colored by Calvinist doctrine, Roxana consistently sees her own actions as evidence of eternal damnation, inviting the reader to judge her. For several years, I taught a thematically based first-year writing course at Duke University on libertinism, “Staging Identity: Power, Performance, and the Libertine,” and I typically ended the course by teaching Defoe’s novel, which satirizes libertinism and Charles II’s court.
Background to the text Group Discussions Discussion Questions (I use the Oxford University Press edition of the novel): Roxana to p. 57. Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress - Wikipedia. Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress (full title: 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 King Charles II) is a 1724 novel by Daniel Defoe.
Plot summary Born in France, from which her parents fled because of religious persecution, Roxana grew to adolescence in England. At the age of fifteen, she married a handsome but conceited man. After eight years of marriage, during which time her husband went through all of their money, Roxana is left penniless with five children. Roxana is penniless and at the point of despair when Mr. ——, her landlord, after expressing his admiration for her, praises her fortitude under all of her difficulties and offers to set her up in housekeeping. After a year and a half has passed and Roxana has not conceived a child, Amy chides her mistress for her barrenness.