The first woman in England to make her living by writing, Aphra Behn (1640-1689) combines memoir, exotic travel narrative, and romance to tell the story of the noble Oroonoko, a black man who begins life as a prince and ends it as a slave. The tale depicts the overthrow of a hero by a civilization that considers itself superior to him.
Taken up by reformers in the long battle against the slave trade, reprinted and imitated countless times, Oroonoko remains a popular tale that introduces powerful themes onto the literary stage.
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