Aphra Behn (1640-1689)
Read by Professor Janet Todd OBE, President, Lucy Cavendish College
Aphra Behn, a prolific dramatist, poet and novelist of the Restoration, was one of the first English women to write professionally. She was a staunch supporter of the court, its politics and dissolute style, and, unlike most early women authors, she wrote frankly about sex and desire. Her professional life is better known that her personal, but for a short while she certainly acted as a spy in the Low Countries for Charles II. She was proud of her literary achievement and knew she wrote plays and poetry as well as any man.
“Love Arm’d” comes from her only tragedy Abdelazer and illustrates her common themes of obsession and unrequited love.