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In search of Eaffry Johnson

Brigid Brophy, 22 January 1981

Reconstructing Aphra 
by Angeline Goreau.
Oxford, 339 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 19 822663 2
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... Angeline Goreau calls her chapter on the beginning of Aphra Behn’s life not ‘Birth’ but ‘“Birth” ’. She turns out, however, not to be disputing that Aphra Behn was born or even suggesting that she was from her mother’s womb untimely ripped. It’s merely that Ms Goreau is given to an illiterate use of inverted commas and is under the misapprehension that the time and place of her subject’s birth are unknown ...

Shee Spy

Michael Dobson, 8 May 1997

The Secret Life of Aphra Behn 
by Janet Todd.
Deutsch, 545 pp., £25, October 1996, 0 233 98991 9
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... conferences, a substantial annotated bibliography of criticism, another biography (by Angeline Goreau) and a newly revised edition of Duffy’s, a Cambridge volume of Aphra Behn Studies (edited by Janet Todd) and a widely used Penguin anthology of selected writings (also edited by Todd). Oroonoko, Behn’s late novella about an enslaved ...

Very very she

Margaret Anne Doody, 22 April 1993

The Works of Aphra Behn. Vol. I: Poetry 
edited by Janet Todd.
Pickering & Chatto, 481 pp., £55, September 1992, 1 85196 012 0
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Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works 
by Aphra Behn, edited by Janet Todd.
Penguin, 385 pp., £6.99, November 1992, 0 14 043338 4
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... birth and apparently high connections has never been satisfactorily resolved. The idea floated by Angeline Goreau, that Behn may have been the illegitimate child of a high-born woman, certainly accords with the few puzzling facts at least as well as anything else. Behn, everyone now agrees, really did visit Surinam. In England, at some point, she married ...

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