The Secret Life of Aphra Behn

Author: Janet M. Todd

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 9780813524559

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 545

View: 3925

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"Behn is a mass of contradictions: a high Tory who disliked traditional power structures; a powerful, autonomous woman who depended on men's approval; a woman who desired men and women and who became involved in intense political activity, yet craved case. This readable, fast-paced book uncovers Behn's assertive, duplicitous, sensual character and illustrates the openly erotic nature of her writings, her explorations of desire, sexual excitement and disappointment, which later made her a byword for lewdness. It reveals historical sources and court cases behind some of her most famous 'fictions'.".

Aphra Behn: A Secret Life

Author: Janet Todd

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1448216958

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 608

View: 2361

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'Fascinating scholarship. Todd conveys Behn's vivacious character and the mores of the time' New York Times 'All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn; for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds,' said Virginia Woolf. Yet that tomb, in Westminster Abbey, records one of the few uncontested facts about this Restoration playwright, poet of the erotic and bisexual, political propagandist, novelist and spy: the date of her death, 16 April 1689. For the rest secrecy and duplicity are almost the key to her life. She loved codes, making and breaking them; writing her life becomes a decoding of a passionate but playful woman. In this revised biography, Janet Todd draws on documents she has rediscovered in the Dutch archives, and on Behn's own writings, to tell a story of court, diplomatic and sexual intrigue, and of the rise from humble origins of the first woman to earn her living as a professional writer. Aphra Behn's first notable employment was as a royal spy in Holland; she had probably also spied in Surinam. It was not until she was in her thirties that she published the first of the nineteen plays and other works which established her fame (though not riches) among her 'good, sweet, honey-candied readers'. Many of her works were openly erotic, indeed as frank as anything by her friends Wycherley and Rochester. Some also offered an inside view of court and political intrigues, and Todd reveals the historical scandals and legal cases behind some of Behn's most famous 'fictions'. Janet Todd, novelist and internationally renowned scholar, was president of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and a Professor at Rutgers, NJ. An expert on women's writing and feminism, she has written about many writers, including Jane Austen, the Shelley Circle, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Aphra Behn. 'Ground-breaking it reads quickly and lightly. Even Todd's throwaway lines are steeped in learning' Women's Review of Books 'A major biography; of interest to everyone who cares about women as writers' Times Higher Education Supplement

The Cambridge Companion to Aphra Behn

Author: Derek Hughes,Janet Todd

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521527200

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 248

View: 9744

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Traditionally known as the first professional woman writer in English, Aphra Behn has now emerged as one of the major figures of the Restoration. She provided more plays for the stage than any other author and greatly influenced the development of the novel with her ground-breaking fiction, especially Love-Letters between a Nobleman and his Sister and Oroonoko, the first English novel set in America. Behn's work straddles the genres: beside drama and fiction, she also excelled in poetry and she made several important translations from French libertine and scientific works. This Companion discusses and introduces her writings in all these fields and provides the critical tools with which to judge their aesthetic and historical importance. It also includes a full bibliography, a detailed chronology and a description of the known facts of her life. The Companion will be an essential tool for the study of this increasingly important writer and thinker.

Aphra Behn and Her Female Successors

Author: Margarete Rubik

Publisher: LIT Verlag Münster

ISBN: 3643800967

Category: English fiction

Page: 204

View: 9120

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"This collection of essays casts new light at Aphra Behn's poetry, drama, prose and literary criticism. The contributors analyse her creative response to the literary theories, genres and motifs of her age and point out remarkable analogies to the writings of her female successors, some of whom have not hitherto been viewed in relation to this Restoration pioneer of female authorship. Her influence on modern writers can still be felt in texts as diverse as Virginia Woolf's Orlando, Molly Brown's historical thriller set in Restoration England, and Joan Anim-Addo's adaptation of Oroonoko."--Publisher's description.

Women, the Novel, and Natural Philosophy, 1660–1727

Author: K. Gevirtz

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137386762

Category: Fiction

Page: 247

View: 5051

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This book shows how early women novelists from Aphra Behn to Mary Davys drew on debates about the self generated by the 'scientific' revolution to establish the novel as a genre. Fascinated by the problematic idea of a unified self underpinning modes of thinking, female novelists innovated narrative structures to interrogate this idea.

Aphra Behn: The Comedies

Author: Kate Aughterson

Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education

ISBN: 1137179597

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 272

View: 824

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Kate Aughterson provides readers with an approachable and fascinating critical guide to the dramatic works of an important seventeenth-century woman writer. Aughterson analyses Aphra Behn's abilities as a playwright, showing particularly how she skillfully employs comic and dramatic conventions to radical ends, and how she forces her audience to engage with issues about gender and sexuality whilst retaining her witty and accessible style. Chapters in the first part of the book provide close readings of the comedies, addressing such topics as openings, endings, character types, staging, and politics and society. In the second part, Aughterson not only examines Behn's literary career and the Restoration contexts of her plays, but also looks at some sample criticism and explores Behn's drama as performance.

Radiation Diaries

Cancer, Memory and Fragments of a Life in Words

Author: Janet M. Todd

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781909572171

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 208

View: 6644

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Exquisitely written diary of radiation treatment for pelvic cancers that delves into literary consciousness, feminism, memory and an unquiet past.

Lives of the Novelists

A History of Fiction in 294 Lives

Author: John Sutherland

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300182430

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 896

View: 6152

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No previous author has attempted a book such as this: a complete history of novels written in the English language, from the genre's seventeenth-century origins to the present day. In the spirit of Dr. Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, acclaimed critic and scholar John Sutherland selects 294 writers whose works illustrate the best of every kind of fiction—from gothic, penny dreadful, and pornography to fantasy, romance, and high literature. Each author was chosen, Professor Sutherland explains, because his or her books are well worth reading and are likely to remain so for at least another century. Sutherland presents these authors in chronological order, in each case deftly combining a lively and informative biographical sketch with an opinionated assessment of the writer's work. Taken together, these novelists provide both a history of the novel and a guide to its rich variety. Always entertaining, and sometimes shocking, Sutherland considers writers as diverse as Daniel Defoe, Henry James, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Michael Crichton, Jeffrey Archer, and Jacqueline Susann. Written for all lovers of fiction, Lives of the Novelists succeeds both as introduction and re-introduction, as Sutherland presents favorite and familiar novelists in new ways and transforms the less favored and less familiar through his relentlessly fascinating readings.