Because of her sensuous writing in the 17th century, wild and wonderful Aphra Behn has been a notorious figure in history. Janet Todd's new biography elaborates on the mysterious Behn and reveals her to be a complex contradiction. Her politics were High Tory, but her language was considered indecent for a woman of her times. She fought against the restraints of a patriarchal world, yet depended upon male approval. She was a lover of the easy life, but risked her life as a spy for England. Todd brings new documents from Holland and England to light, as well as discussions of Behn's entire works, in order to present this in-depth study of a most remarkable writer.
From Library Journal
Aphra Behn, the Restoration poet, playwright, and novelist, is regarded as the first woman in English literature to earn her living as a writer. She may also have engaged in political and sexual intrigue and even acted as a spy for Charles II. Her life is marked by its mystery, masks, and a confusion of fact and fiction. There have been several biographies of this 17th-century figure, including George Woodcock's Aphra Behn: The English Sappho (Consortium, 1989), but Todd's is the first to attempt to sort out the mysteries and erotic dimensions of Behn's life. Todd (English, Univ. of East Anglia) has written many books on women and literature and has edited Behn's works. Her treatment is as engrossing and entertaining as it is thorough and well researched. Highly recommended for public and academic collections.?Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, Ga.
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