A vivid love story and adventure tale, Oroonoko is a heroic slave narrative about a royal prince and his fight for freedom. The eponymous hero, Oroonoko, deemed royalty in one world and slave in another, is torn from his noble status and betrayed into slavery in Surinam, where he is reduced to chains, fetters and shackles. But his high spirit and admirable character will not be suppressed.
The book was groundbreaking at the time and is considered to be one of the first novels written in English. Its condemnation of slavery and Europeans, and striking portrayal of sexuality and violence, shrouded Behn’s name in controversy for years after it was published.