Five plays, Part 1

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Methuen Drama, 1990 - Drama - 473 pages
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Aphra Behn was among the wittiest and most prolific playwrights of her day

The Widow Ranter is a tragi-comedy, The False Count concerns the marriage of a young woman to a much older man whilst The Lucky Chance ran into instant criticism for immorality. The Rover is her most famous comedy and Abdelazar is her only tragedy.


 


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About the author (1990)

Aphra Behn is often considered the first Englishwoman to support herself as a writer. She was unquestionably the leading woman playwright of the Restoration period. Behn is also notable for her poetry and fiction. While still in her twenties, she traveled with her family to Surinam, in South America, where she witnessed a slave insurrection, much like the rebellion that figures prominently in her novel Oroonoko (1688), a work that introduced the character of the noble savage. Behn was well connected at court and for a brief time was sent to Antwerp as a spy. Around 1670, with the help of John Dryden, she established a career in the theater, and, during the following two decades, rarely was her work absent from the London stage. Among the comedies that bear the special stamp of her libertine, feminist, and Tory political views are The Dutch Lover (1673), The Feign'd Curtezans (1679), and her best-known works, The Rover (1677) and The Rover, Part II (1681). Readers seeking an introduction to the skill and sensibility of Aphra Behn will do well to look into her lyric poetry, which is often represented in recent anthologies of women writers.

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