Oroonoko: Or the History of the Royal Slave and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£6.39
  • RRP: £7.99
  • You Save: £1.60 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Oroonoko (Penguin Classic... has been added to your Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £1.12
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Oroonoko (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 30 Oct 2003


See all 31 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 30 Oct 2003
£6.39
£2.46 £1.37
£6.39 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Oroonoko (Penguin Classics) + Candide, or Optimism (Penguin Classics) + The Sign of Four (Broadview Editions)
Price For All Three: £18.17

Buy the selected items together



Trade In this Item for up to £1.12
Trade in Oroonoko (Penguin Classics) for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £1.12, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 99 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; New Ed edition (30 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140439889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140439885
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 0.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

About the Author

Little is known of Aphra Behn's early life. She was probably born around 1640 in Kent and in the early 1660s claims to have visited the British colony of Surinam. She turned to literature for a living, producing numerous short stories, 19 stage plays and political propaganda for the Tories.

Janet Todd is Francis Hutcheson Professor of English Literature, University of Glasgow and Aphra Behn's biographer.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I do not pretend, in giving you the history of this royal slave, to entertain my reader with the adventures of a feigned hero whose life and fortunes fancy may manage at the poet's pleasure; nor in relating the truth, design to adorn it with any accidents but such as arrived in earnest to him. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The thing that hit me when I read this 17th Century novel about an African prince transported as a slave to Surinam as the consequence of a forbidden love affair was that the prince, Oroonoko, was a person - and not just the human metaphor for slavery itself that i'd expected.

This is a rare example of an English novel from the period before the ideology of slavery had been fully developed; Africans might have been perceived as less advanced than Europeans but they had not yet been reduced to the status of farm animals. Oroonoko, while not a fully sympathetic character, is brave and noble. The love affair that binds Oroonoko and Imoinda to a fate as slaves is deep and sensitive. African societies are implied to be complex, not the simple gangs of men with spears they would be transformed into in later European imaginings.

Aphra Behn is reported to have had conflicting feelings about slavery and these can be felt in her writing, giving this book a tension and urgency missing from most of her other prose. Was she made more or less sympathetic by her own life of constant struggle against the bounds that 17th Century England placed on the ambitions of women? Who can say, but she does seem to empathise with her African protaganists to a degree that is remarkable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Sullivan on 15 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is, by all accounts, Aphra Behn's most famous work. She wrote erotic poetry and plays but this `novel' is why her name lives on in the 21st century. I placed the word novel in inverted commas as academics and scholars still argue to this day as to whether it can be described as a novel. More importantly was it the first novel in English?
Many of the afore-mentioned scholars and academics will argue that Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719) was the first novel and the English writer is often referred to as the `father of the novel'. However, it could, and has been, argued that Oroonoko was written in a novelistic form but personally I believe it comes under the heading of `novella'. The sound of hairs being split can be heard all around the country.
The story is fundamentally about the African prince Oroonoko (a mis-spelling of the river Orinoco) and his wife Imoinda. Both are captured separately by the British and brought to Surinam as slaves. Oroonoko could be cruelly interpreted as a simple romance story with its theme of boy meets girl, love at first sight, boy loses girl and then boy finds girl. However, for today's audience the story has become secondary to the themes of colonialism, racism and the innovative writing style of Aphra Behn.
Aphra Behn is credited not only with developing the pioneering female narrative but for addressing the inequality between men and women in the seventeenth century. Black people are not the only slaves in the book, women are also shackled by the mores of the day. Oroonoko is seen as one the literature's first abolitionist expositions. It's portrayal of racism and slavery is credited with aiding the cause for the abolitionists.
The racism and depiction of slavery make Oroonoko an uncomfortable read.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Nicholas on 12 Dec 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Selected by a friend as a book club choice,supposedly the first novel ever written and by a woman with an interesting reputation. I studied Aphra Behn at college, but hadn't read this novel before,only a couple of her plays. Thoroughly enjoyed it,if slightly startled by the graphic violence.Read in its historical context,there is obviously a level of racism and sexism that you would expect for the period it was written in.My first book bought on a kindle too, have to say still not converted from paper though...
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By barclaycard on 19 Jan 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brought this as an Open University set book for studying and was a good reference book but not something I would choose to read for pleasure.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Mary Brennan on 20 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stuck with me, very easy to read! Great insight gained into the psychology of the writer and the time written about!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category


Feedback