Aphra Behn, Writer and Spy


Aphra Behn circa 1675.  Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Aphra Behn circa 1675. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

There's really not a lot concretely known about the life of Aphra Behn, who, in addition to being a spy, was a dramatist, poet, novelist, translator, and the first woman in English literature known to have made her living as a writer.

Tracy's Research:

  • Poetry Foundation. "Aphra Behn." https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/aphra-behn
  • Who is Aphra Behn? by Abigail Williams, Kate O'Connor at http://writersinspire.org/content/who-aphra-behn. Accessed on Thursday, February 16, 2017.
  • Todd, Janet. "The Secret Life of Aphra Behn." Pandora. London. 1996.
  • Fitzmaurice, James. "Aphra Behn and the 'Abraham's Sacrifice' Case." Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 3 (Summer, 1993). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3817766
  • Day, Robert Adams. "Aphra Behn's First Biography." Studies in Bibliography, Vol. 22 (1969). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40371486
  • Pearson, Jacqueline. "The Review of English Studies, Vol. 42, No. 165 (Feb., 1991). Via JSTOR. http://www.jstor.org/stable/516920
  • Behn, Aphra. "The Young King, Or, A Mistake." http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=eebo;idno=A27332.0001.001
  • University of Leeds. "Aphra Behn the Unpaid Spy." 7/2/2013. https://library.leeds.ac.uk/features/349/article/72/aphra_behn_the_unpaid_spy

Topics in this Podcast: women, British history, literary history, LGBTQ history, 17th century, Spies, theater, poetry, poets, biographies, show notes