Penguin.com (usa)

Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works

THE FAIR JILT, OROONOKO, LOVE LETTERS TO A GENTLEMAN (PROSE); THE ROVER, THE WIDOW RANTER (PLAYS); AND POEMS

Aphra Behn - Author

Janet Todd - Editor/introduction

Paperback | $13.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780140433388 | 400 pages | 01 Jan 1993 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works Summary of Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works Reviews for Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works An Excerpt from Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works

‘We are bought and sold like apes or monkeys, to be the sport of women, fools, and cowards, and the support of rogues’

When Prince Oroonoko’s passion for the virtuous Imoinda arouses the jealousy of his grandfather, the lovers are cast into slavery and transported from Africa to the colony of Surinam. Oroonoko’s noble bearing soon wins the respect of his English captors, but his struggle for freedom brings about his destruction. Inspired by Aphra Behn’s visit to Surinam, Oroonoko (1688) reflects the author’s romantic view of Native Americans as simple, superior peoples ‘in the first state of innocence, before men knew how to sin’. The novel also reveals Behn’s ambiguous attitude to African slavery – while she favoured it as a means to strengthen England’s power, her powerful and moving work conveys its injustice and brutality.

This new edition of Oroonoko is based on the first printed edition of 1688, and includes a chronology, bibliography and notes. In her introduction, Janet Todd examines Aphra Behn’s views of slavery, colonization and politics, and her position as a professional woman writer in the Restoration.

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