This work is the best known and most frequently performed play by the 17th-century poet, novelist and playwright, Aphra Behn, and is set in a 17th-century Spanish colony during carnival time. Three sisters, dissatisfied with their destinies, wander in search of tolerable husbands.
Aphra Behn was among the wittiest and most prolific playwrights of her day The Rover is the most popular of Behn's plays, a comedy set in a 17th century Spanish colony during carnival time. Scenes of infidelity, elopement and seduction are juxtaposed with images of elaborate sword play creating a mood of frantic, endless celebration. In The Rover, Behn recreates a male-dominated society but responds with clear-sighted and sympathetic portrayal of the female predicament. The female voice gave the play a distinctiveness in its time and portrays "the fine line drawn and doodled around between the brutality of rape and the art of seduction" (Michael Coveney, Financial Times). The Rover was revived by the RSC in 1986, directed by John Barton with Jeremy Sams and Imogen Stubbs in the lead roles. This volume contains expert notes on the author's life and work, historical and political background to the play and a glossary of difficult words and phrases."Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common...All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn." (Virginia Woolf on Aphra Behn)
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