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Oroonoko, the Rover and Other Works (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 11 Aug 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; Reprint edition (11 Aug. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140433384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140433388
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Aphra Behn (c. 1640–1689), born in Kent, England, claimed to have visited the British colony of Surinam, where Oroonoko is set. She wrote poetry, short stories, stage plays, and political propaganda for the Tory party, as well as her great amorous and political novel, Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister.


Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The controversial late seventeenth century writer Aphra Benn was one of the first women in history to earn a living by her pen. In Oroonoko (a gem, included here) and other 'novellas' (as we would now call them) she was one of the inventors of the English novel, before Richardson, Fielding, Defoe and Swift.

In 'the Widow Ranter' (also included here) she wrote the first play ever to be set in North America.

She also wrote much else including some more standard Restoration period tales, poems and plays probably suited to their time but for many modern readers less exciting.

Popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, her work referred too frankly to sex for the nineteenth century and fell into obscurity (although those looking for titillation or pornography would do better elsewhere!). In recent times, with changing mores, as well as a feminist interest in early women writers, Aphra Benn came back into fashion in literature courses, although she is still little known to the general public.

But surely more important than any of that, for most readers, is how enjoyable her work is to read! On that basis, I can only give this collection 3 Stars overall but 5 Stars to Oroonoko (read it if you can in some form even if you do not buy this collection).

Oroonoko is the story of a African Prince, a tragic hero, taken across the sea to be a lowly plantation slave in Surinam in South America, then briefly an English colony (although later captured by the Dutch). There, Oronooko leads an attempted mass escape of slaves, until doomed by the odds against him and his followers' failure of courage.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant! I had to read Oroonoko for uni and it is by far one of the greatest pieces of literature ever written. An amazingly moving book dealing with multiple issues that allow the reader to connect with the characters and the text.
I would recommend this edition and book to anyone.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Writing is crisp and easy given its date. Story is a bit more dated but gives a good insight into an alternative female voice
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Format: Paperback
This Penguin edition brings together a lovely collection of her plays and poems, which are still hilarious and moving to this day. I would recommend this to any students of English Literature.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Suppose for its historical value it should be of more worth. But the language usage is heavy and at time prosaic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting Novel, Bought for a Book Review project.
Wouldn't choose this book to read for pleasure.
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