Aphra Behn cover

photo credits: CC-PD-Mark

Aphra Behn

English playwright, poet, translator, fiction writer (1640-1689)

1640   -   1689

genre: romance novel
country of citizenship: United Kingdom
native language: English
language of expression: English
occupation: playwright, translator, poet, writer, novelist, feminist

Aphra Behn (; bapt. 14 December 1640 – 16 April 1689) was an English playwright, poet, translator and fiction writer from the Restoration era. As one of the first English women to earn her living by her writing, she broke cultural barriers and served as a literary role model for later generations of women authors. Rising from obscurity, she came to the notice of Charles II, who employed her as a spy in Antwerp. Upon her return to London and a probable brief stay in debtors' prison, she began writing for the stage. She belonged to a coterie of poets and famous libertines such as John Wilmot, Lord Rochester. She wrote under the pastoral pseudonym Astrea. During the turbulent political times of the Exclusion Crisis, she wrote an epilogue and prologue that brought her into legal trouble; she thereafter devoted most of her writing to prose genres and translations. A staunch supporter of the Stuart line, she declined an invitation from Bishop Burnet to write a welcoming poem to the new king William III. She died shortly after.She is remembered in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own: "All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn which is, most scandalously but rather appropriately, in Westminster Abbey, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds." Her grave is not included in the Poets' Corner but lies in the East Cloister near the steps to the church.
Read more or edit on Wikipedia




novel by Aphra Behn

author: Aphra Behn


The City Heiress

play written by Aphra Behn

author: Aphra Behn

The Fair Jilt

book by Aphra Behn

author: Aphra Behn


The Forc'd Marriage

play written by Aphra Behn

author: Aphra Behn

The Luckey Chance

play by Aphra Behn (London : R.H. for W. Canning, 1687.)

author: Aphra Behn


Welcome to Inventaire

the library of your friends and communities
learn more
you are offline