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Aphra Behn (1640–1689)

Autor(a) de Oroonoko

87+ Works 3,644 Membros 52 Críticas 13 Favorited

About the Author

Aphra Behn is often considered the first Englishwoman to support herself as a writer. She was unquestionably the leading woman playwright of the Restoration period. Behn is also notable for her poetry and fiction. While still in her twenties, she traveled with her family to Surinam, in South mostrar mais America, where she witnessed a slave insurrection, much like the rebellion that figures prominently in her novel Oroonoko (1688), a work that introduced the character of the noble savage. Behn was well connected at court and for a brief time was sent to Antwerp as a spy. Around 1670, with the help of John Dryden, she established a career in the theater, and, during the following two decades, rarely was her work absent from the London stage. Among the comedies that bear the special stamp of her libertine, feminist, and Tory political views are The Dutch Lover (1673), The Feign'd Curtezans (1679), and her best-known works, The Rover (1677) and The Rover, Part II (1681). Readers seeking an introduction to the skill and sensibility of Aphra Behn will do well to look into her lyric poetry, which is often represented in recent anthologies of women writers. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: Portrait by Sir Peter Lely (1618-1680): Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-127791) (cropped)

Obras por Aphra Behn

Oroonoko (1688) 1,146 exemplares
The Rover (1677) 405 exemplares
Oroonoko [Norton Critical Edition] (1997) 326 exemplares
Oroonoko and Other Writings (1994) 295 exemplares
Five plays (1990) 33 exemplares
The Works of Aphra Behn (1995) — Autor — 24 exemplares
Oroonoko | The Fair Jilt (1953) 24 exemplares
Selected Poems (1993) 14 exemplares
The Works of Aphra Behn, Volume I (1992) 12 exemplares
Oroonoko and other stories (1986) 9 exemplares
The novels of Mrs. Aphra Behn (1970) 9 exemplares
The Widow Ranter (1689) 8 exemplares
Restoration Tragedies (Oxford Paperbacks) (1977) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares
Covent Garden drollery; a miscellany of 1672 — attributed editor — 4 exemplares
Sir Patient Fancy (2004) 3 exemplares
The Aphra Behn Collection (2016) 2 exemplares
Emperor of the Moon (2010) 1 exemplar
The Rover | The City-Heiress (2006) 1 exemplar
The False Count 1 exemplar
The Uncollected Verse (1989) 1 exemplar
[Ten plays] 1 exemplar
The Rover, Part 2 1 exemplar
Three histories 1 exemplar
Oroonoko and Other Stories (2008) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (1995) — Contribuidor, algumas edições915 exemplares
The Penguin Book of Women Poets (1978) — Contribuidor — 297 exemplares
Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy [Norton Critical Edition] (1973)algumas edições269 exemplares
Erotica: Women's Writing from Sappho to Margaret Atwood (1990) — Contribuidor — 168 exemplares
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Contribuidor — 118 exemplares
Kissing the Rod: An Anthology of 17th-Century Women's Verse (1988) — Contribuidor — 103 exemplares
Poems Between Women (1997) — Contribuidor — 92 exemplares
The Virago Book of Wicked Verse (1992) — Contribuidor — 82 exemplares
Popular Fiction by Women 1660-1730: An Anthology (1996) — Contribuidor — 76 exemplares
Shorter Novels: Seventeenth Century (1930) — Contribuidor — 43 exemplares
Poetry of Witness: The Tradition in English, 1500-2001 (2014) — Contribuidor — 42 exemplares
The Oxford Book of English Love Stories (1996) — Contribuidor — 35 exemplares
Masters of British Literature, Volume A (2007) — Contribuidor — 20 exemplares
Men and Women: The Poetry of Love (1970) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
American Aphrodite (Volume Two, Number Six) (1952) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
American Aphrodite Vol. 2 No. 7 (1952) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
American Aphrodite (Volume Two, Number Eight) (1952) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Ten English farces (1948) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Die edlen Wilden (1989) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
American Aphrodite (Volume Two, Number Five) (1952) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Behn, Aphra
Outros nomes
Johnson, Aphra (birth name)
Astrea (spy name)
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Localização do túmulo
Westminster Abbey, London, England, UK
País (no mapa)
England, UK
Local de nascimento
Wye, Kent, England
Local de falecimento
London, England
Locais de residência
Wye, Kent, England (birth)
Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium
London, England, UK
The Fair Triumvirate of Wit

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Aphra Behn was one of the first English women to make a living as a writer. She was a popular and prolific Restoration playwright and poet (her pen name was Astrea). She also worked as a spy for King Charles II. Virginia Woolf wrote, "All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds. It is she – shady and amorous as she was – who makes it not quite fantastic for me to say to you tonight: Earn five hundred a year by your wits." Not many facts are known about her personal life. She was born Aphra Johnson, and probably lived in Surinam in 1663–64. She may have married a Mr. Behn in 1664, though some have suggested she took a married name for greater propriety and protection. From 1666–67, she served King Charles II as a spy in Antwerp, incurring debts in her work which went unpaid – Charles II was notoriously slow in paying bills – and then served a stint in debtors' prison. Her first performed play was The Forc'd Marriage (1670), a popular and financial success. Many other successful plays followed. In 1688, Aphra Behn published Oroonoko, a short novel about a noble slave and his tragic love. It was an instant success, going through many reprints, and may be her best-known work today. At her death in 1689, she was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, where her stone still rests at Poets' Corner.




This book, published in 1688, is brutal, by a woman “often cited as the first known professional female writer.” Prince Oroonoko‘s betrothed is sold into slavery. Then he is tricked by an evil English slave trader and sold into slavery. Shipped to Suriname, he finds his lover owned by the same master. Initially treated well because of his royalty, he is betrayed again. So he kills his love, and himself in the most gruesome of ways. All of this in the summary, so no spoilers. But that‘s the entire story. Beautiful imagery of the country, Behn is a lovely writer. I‘m trying to decide if she was opposed to slavery. Some times she seems to excuse it, but given the brutality of the story I tend to think she very much opposed it. A hard but short read. Prepare yourself accordingly if you decide to read it.… (mais)
KarenMonsen | 29 outras críticas | Nov 25, 2023 |
The story of Oroonoko, a prince, and his wife, Imoinda. Imoinda is a beauty and Oroonoko's grandfather, the king, wishes to have her for his own. Both Imoinda and Oroonoko are subsequently enslaved. Inspired by a trip to Surinam, Aphra Behn's view of slaves is very much of her time--a sort of mingling of the noble savage, fierce warrior myth and the born to serve myth.

I think this is worthwhile as a measure of how early the use of slave labor was recognized as being immoral in truth. Written in the 1600's there can be no doubt that Behn was bothered by the institution as it existed. There is a morbid fascination you feel while reading it. I wanted to put it aside, and yet I wanted to finish to the bitter end.… (mais)
mattorsara | 29 outras críticas | Aug 11, 2022 |
So its kind of like 'Amistad' mixed with 'Braveheart' :) . Short tale of an african prince who finds himself on a slave plantation. Reminded me of a shakespearean tragedy at times too. Has the feel of non-fiction in parts, those odd inconsistencies which tend to denote real events.
Its narrative structure is unusual in that about half is from the title characters point of view and the rest from the authors.
While i thought it was fine until about half-way i was still expecting to give it 2 stars but it finishes strongly.… (mais)
wreade1872 | 29 outras críticas | Nov 28, 2021 |
An interesting commentary on men as they are/were and women's role in society as it was. Hellena's tale was maddening (given the current state of political affairs) and Florinda's even more so (given the progress we have made regarding female worth).

Behn's prose isn't as lovely as Shakespeare's but, unlike some of Shakespeare's tales, seems to be less happy with the status quo (which I can stand behind). But, in my 21st century mind, I really think she settled in her perception of Hellena's future.… (mais)
OutOfTheBestBooks | 4 outras críticas | Sep 24, 2021 |



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