Margaret AnneDoody, 22 April 1993
Show More The Works of Aphra Behn. Vol. I: Poetry edited by Janet Todd.
Pickering & Chatto, 481 pp., £55, September 1992, 1 85196 012 0Show More
Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works by Aphra Behn, edited by Janet Todd.
Penguin, 385 pp., £6.99, November 1992, 0 14 043338 4Show More
“... All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds,’ Virginia Woolf asserted. Aphra Behn (c. 1640-89) was the first Englishwoman to make her living ‘by her pen’, as we used to say. Now, nobody makes her – or his – living by the phallic and virile pen. Linguistic and cultural structures no longer combine in exhibiting the exciting transgression, the impudent androgyny, of the man-woman who picks up her pen to write, for the she-writer, like the he-writer, will feed symbols through the word processor, a brooding matrix-box far more uterine than penile ...”