Aphra Behn: A Secret Life (Paperback)

A Secret Life

By Janet Todd

Fentum Press, 9781909572065, 608pp.

Publication Date: June 27, 2017

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Description

The life, work and history of Aphra Behn: seventeenth -century dramatist, poet of the erotic and bisexual, novelist, political propagandist, spy.

Praise for the first hardback edition:

"Fascinating scholarship. Todd conveys Behn's vivacious character and the mores of the time." --the New York Times

"Ground-breaking--it reads quickly and lightly. Even Todd's throwaway lines are steeped in learning and observation." --Ruth Perry, MIT, Women's Review of Books

"A major biography; of interest to everyone who cares about women as writers." --Times Higher Education Supplement

"Fascinating, a page-turner and a delight, an astonishingly thorough book." --Emma Donoghue

"All women together ought to let flowers fall on the tomb of Aphra Behn. . . . For it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds." --Virginia Woolf

Aphra Behn, a spy in the Netherlands and the Americas, was the first professional woman writer. The most prolific dramatist of her age, innovative novelist, translator, lyrical and erotic poet, she expresses a frank sexuality addressing impotence, orgasm and bisexuality, whilst serving as political propagandist for the monarch.

This revised biography of the extraordinary, ground-breaking writer, who is emblematic of the Restoration period, a time of masks and self-fashioning, is set in conflict-ridden England, Europe, and in the mismanaged slave colonies, following the Puritan republic in 1660.

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 published on many writers, including Jane Austen, the Shelley Circle, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Aphra Behn.



About the Author

Janet Todd was born in Wales and grew up in Britain, Bermuda and Sri Lanka. She has worked in Ghana, Puerto Rico, India, Scotland and England. In the US, at the University of Florida and Douglass College, Rutgers, she began the first journal devoted to women's writing. She has published on the novel and memoir and written biographies of Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft, her daughters Fanny and Mary Shelley, and the Irish Lady Mount Cashell. A Professor Emerita at the University of Aberdeen and Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, Janet Todd is a former President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, where she established the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize. She has published two novels: Lady Susan Plays the Game and A Man of Genius. She lives in Cambridge and Venice.
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