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The Secret Life of Aphra Behn Hardcover – 2 Oct 1996

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2 Oct 1996
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch Ltd; First Edition edition (2 Oct. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0233989919
  • ISBN-13: 978-0233989914
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a work of scholarship and deserves nothing less than a 5 star rating. I bought it out of curiosity because I had never heard of Aphra Behn - or rather I had forgotten that she featured in Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" which I read a long, long time ago. It was published in 1929 and is essentially an extended feminist essay on the problems confronting budding women writers, problems which be solved if they had 'a room of their own' and an income sufficient to meet, at least, their bare necessities.

She (Woolf) then examines the lives of some successful writers such Jane Austen, The Bronte sisters, and Rebecca West. All these people did have the means to survive and just as important the encouragement to write. Aphra Behn was exceptional in that she had to fight for her success and recognition in writing plays and having them staged. She was friendly with Nell Gwynn and was prepared to go to the same lengths as Nell herself, to lift herself out of the gutter. Need we say more! She was no socialist. She believed it was every man/woman for him/her self. While she believed in equal pay for equal work, I doubt whether she would have joined a feminist movement. She was a reactionary in the sense that she thought that the King (Charles 2nd) had a divine right to rule.

I said at the beginning that this author's book is a lengthy work of scholarship, so that after the introduction, I took the easy way out and looked for a summary in Wikipedia. So if you want to find just the essential facts of her life I suggest you do the same! However I may well return to Janet's work later.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent!
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Format: Hardcover
THE SECRET LIFE OF APHRA BEHN IS AN EXCELLENT BIOGRAPHY ON ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL WOMAN IN HISTORY. THE BOOK GIVES A GREAT ACCOUNT OF BEHN'S LIFE, INCLUDING HER WEAKNESSES AND MANY OF HER STRENGTHS. JANET TODD WRITES IN A UNIQUE STYLE THAT ALLOWS THE READER TO REALLY EXPERIENCE WHAT THE WOMEN OF APHRA'S TIME EXPERIENCED. JANET TODD ALSO PUTS APHRA BEHN IN A VERY REALISTIC HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND ATTEMPTS TO REALLY BRING APHRA'S TRUE LIFE TO THE SURFACE, IN ORDER FOR THE READER TO REALLY OBSERVE AND ANALYSE THE WAY APHRA REALLY WAS. THIS BOOK HAS CHARISMA AND GIVES AN INTERESTING DETAILED ACCOUNT ON A WOMEN WHO BECAME THE FIRST WOMEN TO EARN HER LIVING BY WRITING NOVELS, PLATWRITES, AND INCREDIBLE POEMS. APHRA BEHN WAS THE FIRST TO SPEAK HER MIND AND WHAT AN INCREDIBLE MIND IT WAS. APHRA WAS ALSO THOUGHT TO BE A SECRET AGENT, SHE WAS EMPLOYED AS A ROYAL SPY TO HOLLAND AND PROBABLY SPIED IN SURINAM. JANET TODD DESCRIBES APHRA'S LIFE AS PARTIAL, APHRA'S LIFE HAS BEEN BURIED BY THOSE WHO THOUGHT HISTORY WAS DOMINATED BY MEN, IT IS UP TO WRITERS LIKE JANET TODD TO RECOVER THE HISTORY OF WOMEN, WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TOWARDS HISTORY EQUALLY AS MEN.
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