Aphra Behn was England's first professional woman writer, but her status as a major author has only recently become clear. Between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries Behn was denigrated for her "unwomanly" subject matter and intellectual immodesty. In the twentieth century she has been increasingly viewed as a leading dramatist of the Restoration and a founder of the English novel. This collection forms an important resource for those studying seventeenth century English literature and drama, and for those interested in the development of women's writing.
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This book sets Behn firmly in an historical context of political factions, theatre developments and colonial encounters. Her work is remarkably diverse. There are chapters on each of the genres in which she wrote: drama, fiction, poetry and translation, and on other aspects of her life, from her publishing struggles to her involvement in American slavery.Review:
"This collection clearly conveys the centrality of Behn's gender as well as to the history of her reception, which is outlined by Todd in her introduction. Behn enters the canon emphatically as a woman. Todd's timely collection, embracing a variety of approaches and covering all aspects of Behn's literary output, makes an important contribution to this process." Albion
"This collection is powerful evidence of the impact of the women's movement and the maturity of feminist scholarship." Modern Philology
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