Aphra Behn's Afterlife

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Aphra Behn, now becoming recognized as a major Restoration figure, is especially significant as an early example of a successful professional woman writer: an important and often troubling role-model for later generations of women. This book shows that her influence on eighteenth-century literature was far-reaching. Because literary history was (and to an extent still is) based on notions of patrilineal succession, it has been difficult to recognize the generative work of women's texts among male writers. This book suggests that Behn had 'sons' as well as 'daughters' and argues that we need a feminist revision of the notion of literary influence. Behn's reputation was very different in different genres. The book analyses her reception as a poet, a novelist, and a dramatist, showing how reactions to her became an important part of the creation of the English literary canon.

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Oxford University Press
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