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Aphra Behn

This short fiction from the period of Restauration and Enlightenment tells the story of the life of the African prince Oroonoko. His grandfather, the king, marries his grandson’s love and a fiancée who is sold into slavery for participating in an uprising against the king. When Oroonoko is aboard a ship towards Europe, he is ambushed and also sold as a slave. On the plantation, he is coincidentally reunited with his love, desires to go home, starts a rebellion against his owner which fails.

Though quite short, this work, which is in the public domain, is often seen as one of the first English novels and Aphra Behn one of the first British female writers. It gives an early and contemporary account of slavery which provides an interesting addition to the subject.

/ · · 1688

Critical edition

Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko. Penguin Classics, 2003. 144 pp., ISBN 9780140439885

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