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Oroonoko and Other Writings (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 26 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (26 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019953876X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199538768
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.8 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 253,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'One could simply enjoy the collection as well-written Restoration diversions rather than as significant tracts.'Wendy Rowland, Literary Review

'Behn knew the West Indies and describes it as a sumptuous natural paradise. it is a gripping story of honour and dishonour, One could simply enjoy the collection as well-written Restoration diversions rather than a significant tract.'Literary Review. Aug '94

About the Author

Paul Salzman is Senior Lecturer, La Trobe University, Australia.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
My Lord, since the world is grown so nice and critical upon dedications, and will needs be judging the book by the wit of the patron, we ought with a great deal of circumspection, to choose a person against whom there can be no exception, and whose wit and worth truly merits all that one is capable of saying upon that occasion. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Oracle VINE VOICE on 11 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
Oroonoko is a wonderful novella for anyone interested in those who are disenfranchised by society. Written by one of the few female professional writers of the 1600s and positively portraying black characters, it shows amazing empathy for its time and although there are some politically incorrect passages they are far, far fewer than you would expect from a work written in 1688. Behn created a powerful slave epic three centuries before Roots and Oroonoko deserves to be more widely known than it is. It is a tragic story about a warrior's ill-fated love for a tribal princess which will stay with you for years to come.
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By Issy on 3 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found it useful as a literature student, Oroonoko is a powerful story full of Enlightenment contentions. Nice edition with informative notes and introduction. Would recommend if studying long eighteenth century.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Aphra Behn's Oroonoko 13 Jan. 2012
By K. Gilligan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
(This review is about the novel "Oroonoko" as I have not yet had a chance to read the other short works included in the text)

This is the second time I've had to read this for a class--this time it is included in my 17th and 18th century literature class, otherwise it is unlikely that I would have ever picked it up. Aphra Behn is clearly a talented writer. Better known for her plays, she also wrote poetry, short stories, and novels. "Oroonoko" is one of her novels, though it was later turned into a play by Thomas Southern. I actually recommend reading them together (Oroonoko. A tragedy. By Thomas Southern.,) though one should certainly read Behn first as Southern took enormous liberties with the original story which included adding comedy and changing the race of major characters. But it is by reading Southern and seeing the changes he made, that one can really appreciate Behn.

"Oroonoko" is about an African prince from Suriname who falls in love with a woman named Imoinda. He marries her but unfortunately the king falls in love with her beauty and claims her for himself. The lovers continue to meet in secret but are eventually discovered, and sold into slavery. Behn goes out of her way to describe Oroonoko as an honorable, intelligent, and handsome man who believes the best in vitually everybody he meets. He is a heroic warrior, who was only tricked into slavery because he is betrayed. The lovers eventually remeet in America (both as slaves), where Oroonoko continues to leave his mark on everyone he meets. It seems nobody can believe how kind and honest he is. Meanwhile everyone continues to fall in love with Imoinda because of her incredible beauty. Oroonoko eventually forms a rebellion in order for his family to escape their slavery. I will not spoil the ending except to say that it does not end happily for either of the lovers. There aren't any words to describe it except perhaps-- gruesome.

In all, one can hardly read it without thinking of Dryden or Shakespeare, but it is still an impressive work that needs to be more widely read than it is now.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Behn at her best 28 Jan. 2014
By Patricia Lonchar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Who could read Oroonoko and not question the humanity of any nation involved in commerce of slavery? The editing is exquisite--it is Oxford, after all; and the collected works included offer the reader a fine picture of one of England's most versatile women authors.
5 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Juicy Eurocentrism 26 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ideal for the author - is - dead scholarship. Whatever the ideological positon of the Royalist Restoration woman writer, one can critique the Eurocentrism of the narrator or applaud the subversive terrain of the novel as it depicts the slave rebellion. One may react with contempt at the narration of a sordid tale of slave contained or praise the novelist for having the foresight to hint at the importance of the colonial enterprise to the the mother country at a time when few other cannonized writers were doing that.
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