Love-letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister
With Love-Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister, Aphra Behn, a leading Restoration dramatist, produced what is arguably the first long novel in English. Her witty, racy roman a' clef in three volumes is set in the tumultuous years surrounding the death of Charles II in 1685. A heady mix of eroticism, sex and politics, it concentrates on a sensational aristocratic scandal of the day, the seduction of Henrietta Berkeley by her sister's husband Lord Grey, a notorious libertine, rebel and intimate of King Charles's son, the Duke of Monmouth. 'Love-Letters depicts the desire for erotic domination at the heart of aristocratic Restoration culture - possibly of any culture, ' writes Janet Todd in her Introduction. As the novel unfolds, the innocence of Behn's young protagonist Silvia, evident in the sincerity and passion of her love-letters, is undermined; seduction is followed by disillusionment, and Silvia transforms herself into a female rake, bent on conquest rather than love. Portraying a world in which individual appetite rules and all authority is in doubt, Love-Letters brilliantly dramatizes the perverse and anarchic nature of desire.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Smiler69 - LibraryThing
I really enjoyed this 17th century roman à clef which may have inspired Les Liaisons Dangereuses a century later, one of my all-time favourite classic novels with people behaving very badly indeed ... Read full review
To Thomas Condon Esq
To Lemuel Kingdon Esq
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