Aphra or Aphara Behn was born 1642, married a Dutch merchant in London, and becoming a widow went to Antwerp in 1666 as a political spy. She was authoress of many plays, which share in the characteristics of the later Stuart drama. The address alluded to is found prefixed to the play of the ' Feigned Courtezans ,' 1679. It is much more pleasant, however, to remember her as authoress of 'Oroonoko,' a novel which, founded on the history of a slave who suffered death by torture for his love of liberty, made one of the first and one of the best appeals to Englishmen against slavery. This book is written purely both in style and matter. Aphra Behn died in 1689, and ten years later her novel was adapted for the stage by Southerne, and made the best of his plays.
« LAST» Note «NEXT»