Lady Roxana by Daniel Defoe (1724)
Roxana’s parents are from
France, quite rich, but forced to come to because persecuted as non-Roman Catholic. Roxana is a beautiful young girl, and a very good dancer. She is also quite well off (wealthy, rich = benestante) as her father has left her over 3,000 livres (well over $100,000 dollars in contemporary money). Unfortunately, at 15 years old she marries a handsome young man who squanders (dissipates= spreca, dissipa) all her money. One day, he simply disappears from Roxana’s life, leaving her, their five children and a domestic – Amy – in complete poverty. England
Roxana cannot pay the rent (= affitto) or feed (= sfamare) the children and the landlord (= padrone di casa) takes them any – very few- possession they have. Amy, very pragmatically, persuades her to ask for the help of her sisters’ husband. But they refuse. Amy plans to abandon a couple of children at one of Roxana’s sister . Roxana becomes her landlord’s mistress (lover =amante) and both she and Amy have a child by him. The landlord is murdered and Roxana starts having a series of lovers till she marries a Dutch merchant. But her story as a lover has not an end and her life will have a sudden turn (= svolta improvvisa) when a young girl arrives: she is probably one of her daughters….
The novel is un-finished