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Publisher Description

Aphra Behn was born in 1640 and baptised in Canterbury on 14th December. Some scholars suggest that the little that is known about her life and particularly the early years is due to her wish to have it remain a mystery. The most interesting story surrounding her origins has her father a Lieutenant General stationed in Surinam, a British colony at that time and Aphra employed as a British spy but her father could have equally been a barber. She married a merchant, John Behn who might have been German and whether he died or they separated the marriage was over in 1664 but his name she kept. What is abundantly clear is that Aphra Behn earned her living writing for which she had a great talent. She was prolific in her output across disciplines, as was an accomplished dramatist, poet, writer and translator from both French and Latin. Above all she is widely recognised as being responsible for the development of the English novel and a key exponent of Restoration drama. Her remarkable independent lifestyle that was often regarded as scandalous by her contemporaries was also much admired by her wide circle of friends which included key literary figures of her day such as John Dryden, the Earl of Rochester and Thomas Otway. Behn died on 16 April 1689 and was buried in Westminster Abbey with an inscription reading: "Here lies a Proof that Wit can never be Defence enough against Mortality." Undoubtedly Aphra is a great writer. To do so as a woman in 17th Century England and earn a living from her pen is a quite phernomenal achievement.

Fiction & Literature
January 13
Copyright Group