Infamous Scribblers

Or is it the intriguing Aphra Behn?

In the 18th century? Dramatist. Poet. Early Novelist. Spy. In the 20th century? Feminist icon. Professional writer. Bad Ass. Aphra Behn is many things, both to Restoration and eighteenth-century literary development and to feminists. Needless to say, whether she is read by her contemporaries or ours, she’s always causing a bit of a stir.

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Aphra Behn 1640-1649

All women together, ought to let flowers fall upon the grave of Aphra Behn… for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds. ~Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

I began as a scholar of the romantic poets. In the 1950s and early 1960s, it was understood that the great English romantic poets were Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, John Keats, William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. But today they are Felicia Hemans, Charlotte Smith, Mary Tighe, Laetitia Landon, and others…

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