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The best-known work by Aphra Behn, widely considered the first professional woman writer in England, Oroonoko is an important contribution to the development of the novel in English. Though it predates the British abolition movement by more than a century, it is also an early depiction of the dehumanizing racial violence of slavery: Oroonoko tells of a noble African prince enslaved and taken to Surinam, where he leads a violent revolt of the enslaved. When the revolt fails, circumstances force him to kill his wife, the beautiful Imoinda, before he is himself executed, dying with honor. This edition is accompanied by an informative introduction and contextual materials situating Oroonoko in the context of seventeenth-century slavery and the colonization of Surinam. Contextual materials also address the early reception of Oroonoko , including Thomas Southerne's popular stage adaptation of the narrative.

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Broadview Press Ltd
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