Roxana, a woman left penniless by her husband at the age of twenty-two. To support herself and her children, she becomes her landlord’s mistress and bears him a child. After his death, she becomes the mistress of a prince, out of vanity rather than need. She bears the prince a child during the eight years of their alliance. She then takes other lovers, receiving riches from them, until she is fifty years old. She finally leaves her role as a courtesan to marry and become a respectable wife.
Mr. ———, Roxana’s landlord and first lover. He helps Roxana when her husband leaves her, becoming a boarder in her house and then her lover, treating her generously during their five years together. He wants children badly and, when Roxana does not at first bear him a child, Roxana’s maid does so. Mr. ——— is robbed and murdered. He leaves his wealth to Roxana.
The Prince de ———
The Prince de ———, Roxana’s second lover. He protects her after her first lover’s untimely death in Paris. He remains her lover for eight years and rewards her with rich gifts. Upon his wife’s death, however, he repents his sinful life and leaves Roxana.
A merchant, who takes care of Roxana’s wealth for her during the years after she parts from the Prince de ———. Roxana bears the merchant a son, after a brief affair. Later, he and Roxana are married, legitimize their son, and settle down to respectability in Holland.
Amy, Roxana’s faithful maid. She serves her mistress without pay while Roxana is poor. She even bears a child for Mr. ——— when it seems that Roxana cannot. Loyal to the end, she is finally dismissed by Roxana when she threatens to murder Roxana’s legitimate daughter to quiet her tongue about Roxana’s past.