- Title: Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works (Penguin Classics)
- Author: Aphra Behn
- Released: 1993-01-01
- Pages: 400
- ISBN: 9780140433388
- ISBN13: 978-0140433388
- ASIN: 0140433384
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Aphra Behn, considered the first professional female writer in English, produced literature in a variety of genres during the middle of the seventeenth century. Her work combines themes of passion, intrigue, and honor, and her prose is romantic in the classic sense. Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works
are as enlightening as they are entertaining, a mixture of reportage and high adventure. In "The Fair Jilt," the beautiful and treacherous Miranda is chaperoned in a convent while deciding which of her many suitors she will have. When denied her first choice, she is quick to exact her revenge. "Oroonoko" is the tale of a young African prince who is tricked into slavery and brought to Surinam. When he meets up again with the lover he believed was dead, he is doubly determined to live free or die. What is remarkable about these stories is the tremendous willpower of the characters. Aphra Behn's protagonists clearly reflect her own passion for life, a spirit which led her to write in a letter to a male colleague: "All I ask is the privilege... to tread in those successful paths my predecessors have so long thrived in ... If I must not because of my sex, have this freedom, but that you will usurp all to yourselves; I lay down my quill and you shall have no more of me." Fortunately, Aphra Behn persevered and her work, like her life - unhampered by either modesty or apology - exudes a rare vitality. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out
. -- From ; review by Sonja Larsen
About the Author
Aphra Behn (c. 1640–1689), born in Kent, England, claimed to have visited the British colony of Surinam, where Oroonoko is set. She wrote poetry, short stories, stage plays, and political propaganda for the Tory party, as well as her great amorous and political novel, Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister.
Janet Todd is Francis Hutcheson Professor of English Literature at the University of Glasgow and an honorary fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.