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The life, work and history of Aphra Behn: seventeenth century dramatist, poet of the erotic and bisexual, novelist, political propagandist, spy.
Praise for the first hardback edition:
“Fascinating scholarship. Todd conveys Behn's vivacious character and the mores of the time.” —the New York Times
“Ground-breaking—it reads quickly and lightly. Even Todd’s throwaway lines are steeped in learning and observation.” —Ruth Perry, MIT, Women’s Review of Books
“A major biography; of interest to everyone who cares about women as writers.” —Times Higher Education Supplement
“Fascinating, a page-turner and a delight, an astonishingly thorough book.” —Emma Donoghue
“All women together ought to let flowers fall on the tomb of Aphra Behn. . . . For it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” —Virginia Woolf
Aphra Behn, a spy in the Netherlands and the Americas, was the first professional woman writer. The most prolific dramatist of her age, innovative novelist, translator, lyrical and erotic poet, she expresses a frank sexuality addressing impotence, orgasm and bisexuality, whilst serving as political propagandist for the monarch.
This revised biography of the extraordinary, ground-breaking writer, who is emblematic of the Restoration period, a time of masks and self-fashioning, is set in conflict-ridden England, Europe, and in the mismanaged slave colonies, following the Puritan republic in 1660.
Janet Todd, novelist and internationally renowned scholar, was President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and a Professor at Rutgers, NJ. An expert on women’s writing and feminism, she has published on many writers, including Jane Austen, the Shelley Circle, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Aphra Behn.