Aphra Behn

Aphra Behn (1640-1689) was a bold, salacious, and pioneering individual. If Frances Burney made women writers respectable, it was Aphra Behn who put them on the map. Portrait of Aphra Behn by Mary Beale [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons Young Woman In 1640 Aphra Behn was born Eaffrey Johnson of Canterbury, the daughter of a barber. Behn was likely raised Catholic. She was a staunch Tory and Royalist, and may already have been working as a spy for Charles II when she visited Surinam, an English colony, in 1663. Behn stayed on the sugar plantation owned by Sir Robert Harley, and letters from the deputy governor of Surinam refer to her as 'Astrea', her code name as an intelligence officer and later, her nom-de-plume as a writer. Her stay on the plantation inspired her to write Oroonoko: or, The Royal Slave, a novel that shows surprising sympathy for the plight of the plantation slave. Spy By 1664 Aphra married Johan Behn, a foreign merchant, but he died only a few years into their marriage. On her return to England from Surinam Behn became embroiled in the court of Charles II, who recruited her to spy against the Dutch in the Second Anglo-Dutch War. 'Astrea' was...
Read the essay: Aphra Behn by Kate O'Connor
# Title Description Author
1 Love-letters between a nobleman and his sister; with the history of their adventures. In three parts.

The fourth edition.
The epistle dedicatory to parts II and III signed: A. B. i.e. Aphra...

Aphra Behn
2 The Rover or The Banish'd Cavaliers Aphra Behn
3 A Memoir of Mrs. Behn Montague Summers
4 Oroonoko: or, the Royal Slave Aphra Behn
5 Woolf on Behn

Chapter four of Virgina Woolf's critical text 'A Room of One's Own' discusses the influence and...

Virginia Woolf
6 The Adventure of the Black Lady Aphra Behn
7 The Rover Part II Aphra Behn
8 The plays, histories and novels of ... mrs. Aphra Behn. With life and memoirs. (1/6)

Volume 1.
Contains: The Rover, The Rover part 2, The Dutch Lover, The Roundheads

Aphra Behn
9 The plays, histories and novels of ... mrs. Aphra Behn. With life and memoirs. (2/6)

Volume 2.
Contains: Abdelazer, The Young King, The City Heiress, The Feign'd Curtezans

Aphra Behn
10 The plays, histories and novels of ... mrs. Aphra Behn. With life and memoirs. (3/6)

Volume 3
Contains: The Town Fop, The False Count, The Lucky Chance, Forc'd Marriage

Aphra Behn
11 The plays, histories and novels of ... mrs. Aphra Behn. With life and memoirs. (4/6)

Volume 4.
Contains: Sir Patient Fancy, The Widow Ranter, The Emperor of the Moon, The...

Aphra Behn
12 The plays, histories and novels of ... mrs. Aphra Behn. With life and memoirs. (5/6)

Volume 5.
Contains: The Life and Memoirs of Mrs. Behn, Oroonoko, The Fair Jilt, The Nun...

Aphra Behn
13 The plays, histories and novels of ... mrs. Aphra Behn. With life and memoirs. (6/6)

Volume 6.
Contains: Agnes de Castro, The Lover's Watch, The Ladies Looking-Glass, The...

Aphra Behn
# Essay Title Description Contributor
1 Aphra Behn: A "Life dedicated to Pleasure and Poetry"

Aphra Behn was a bold, salacious, and pioneering individual. If Frances Burney made women...

Kate O'Connor
2 Who is Aphra Behn?

This essay is the first of four distilled from a lecture series on Aphra Behn given by...

Abigail Williams, Kate O'Connor
3 Aphra Behn and the Restoration Theatre

This essay is the second of four distilled from a lecture series on Aphra Behn given by Dr....

Abigail Williams, Kate O'Connor
4 Aphra Behn and Political Culture

This essay is the third of four distilled from a lecture series on Aphra Behn given by Dr....

Abigail Williams, Kate O'Connor
5 Aphra Behn and Poetic Culture

This essay is the last of four distilled from a lecture series on Aphra Behn given by Dr....

Abigail Williams, Kate O'Connor
6 Aphra Behn

Aphra Behn (1640-1689) was a bold, salacious, and pioneering individual. If Frances Burney made...

Kate O'Connor
7 Feminist Approaches to Literature

This essay offers a very basic introduction to feminist literary theory, and a compendium of...

Kate O'Connor
# Resource Title Description Contributor
1 Aphra Behn by Mary Beale

Portrait of Aphra Behn by Mary Beale (1632-1699)

2 Aphra Behn by John Riley

Engraving of Aphra Behn after a lost portrait by John Riley (1646-1691)

3 Southerne Oroonoko 1776 Performance

Handout of 1776 performance of Oroonoko
Scan of public domain document. Published 23...