The Scandal of the Century (Hardback)
  • The Scandal of the Century (Hardback)
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The Scandal of the Century (Hardback)

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Hardback 352 Pages
Published: 09/05/2024
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Waterstones Says

An enthralling biography of the enigmatic Aphra Behn - playwright, poet, spy and scarlet woman - that brings an astonishing figure to vibrant life as well as providing an evocative picture of seventeenth-century London.

Playwright, poet, spy, a scarlet woman condemned for loose morals . . . meet Aphra Behn, history's most fascinating female. There are few labels not attached to Aphra Behn - playwright, poet, a spy, a scarlet woman condemned for loose morals. And yet, for all her notoriety Aphra Behn is an enigma.

Born in around 1640, her early life isn't well recorded and facts about her are continually disputed. Her birth name may have been Eaffrey Johnson and she could have been the daughter of a Canterbury barber, although neither fact is certain. And, just after the Restoration she probably briefly lived in the English colony of Surinam in South America, where she was perhaps embroiled in political espionage. Whatever the truth, Behn was in London by 1664 and six years later was writing for the stage.

For a decade, Behn's work dominated the London stage. Then, suddenly in 1682, she was charged with libel. Her plays could not be produced and by the time of the trial of the century Behn was broke. She decided that writing would be her way out and began to write a novel based on the most notorious adultress of a notoriously adulterous age - Lady Henrietta Berkeley.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405953320
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 459 g
Dimensions: 223 x 143 x 31 mm

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“A confused but fun comparative work of proto-feminist history”

Lisa Hilton's is an interesting proposal: in 'Scandal of the Century', she suggests that a co-consitituive biography of the playwright, 'shee-spy', and first English novelist, Aphra Behn, and... More

Hardback edition
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“Morals and mores of Restoration Britain”

The writer Aphra Behn is an enigma. She has left behind a body of work and is lauded as a proto-feminist writer but little is known of her early life. Behn appears in London after the Restoration with a confused... More

Hardback edition
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