Read Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works by Aphra Behn Free Online
Book Title: Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works|
The author of the book: Aphra Behn
Edition: Penguin Classics
Date of issue: November 28th 1992
ISBN 13: 9780140433388
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 989 KB
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'We are bought and sold like apes or monkeys, to be the sport of women, fools, and cowards, and the support of rogues’
When Prince Oroonoko’s passion for the virtuous Imoinda arouses the jealousy of his grandfather, the lovers are cast into slavery and transported from Africa to the colony of Surinam. Oroonoko’s noble bearing soon wins the respect of his English captors, but his struggle for freedom brings about his destruction. Inspired by Aphra Behn’s visit to Surinam, Oroonoko (1688) reflects the author’s romantic view of Native Americans as simple, superior peoples â€˜in the first state of innocence, before men knew how to sin’. The novel also reveals Behn’s ambiguous attitude to African slavery – while she favoured it as a means to strengthen England’s power, her powerful and moving work conveys its injustice and brutality.
This new edition of Oroonoko is based on the first printed edition of 1688, and includes a chronology, bibliography and notes. In her introduction, Janet Todd examines Aphra Behn’s views of slavery, colonization and politics, and her position as a professional woman writer in the Restoration.
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Read information about the authorAphra Behn was a prolific dramatist of the English Restoration and was one of the first English professional female writers. Her writing contributed to the amatory fiction genre of British literature. Along with Delarivier Manley and Eliza Haywood, she is sometimes referred to as part of "The fair triumvirate of wit."
In author Virginia Woolf's reckoning, Behn's total career is more important than any particular work it produced. Woolf wrote, "All women together, ought to let flowers fall upon the grave of Aphra Behn... for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds." Vita Sackville-West called Behn 'an inhabitant of Grub Street with the best of them, ... a phenomenon never seen and ... furiously resented.' She was, as Felix Shelling said, 'a very gifted woman, compelled to write for bread in an age in which literature ... catered habitually to the lowest and most depraved of human inclinations. Her success depended upon her ability to write like a man.' ... She was, as Edmund Gosse remarked, 'the George Sand of the Restoration,' and she lived the Bohemian life in London in the seventeenth century as George Sand lived it in Paris in the nineteenth.
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