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Audiobooks by Aphra Behn

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The Poetry of Aphra Behn

The Poetry of Aphra Behn

Author: Aphra Behn Narrator: Ghizela Rowe, Libby Brunton Release Date: 01/01/2021

Aphra Behn was a prolific and well-established poet and playwright but facts about her life remain scant and difficult to confirm. What can safely be said is that Aphra Behn is regarded as a key English playwright and a major figure in Restoration theatre. Her poetry is now far more appreciated and seen as a breakthrough for women of the 17th Century and beyond. Aphra was baptised on 14th December 1640 and grew up with the gathering tensions leading to the English Civil War, a time of much division and difficulty as the King, Parliament, and their respective forces, came closer and then finally into open conflict.By 1664 her marriage was over, less than a year after it began. She now used Mrs Behn as her professional name and moved towards pursuing a more sustainable and substantial career, working for the King's Company and the Duke's Company players as a scribe. Her first play 'The Forc'd Marriage', was staged in 1670, and thereafter many followed, including her later comic works, which were more commercially successful. She wrote 19 plays in all and contributed to many others as well as several works of prose.Along with her literary career there are claims she was a spy, that she travelled abroad, possibly as far as Surinam. She also claimed to have met a slave leader in Africa and based her story 'Oroonoko' on his life. Other accounts suggest that during her life she was also known as Ann Behn, Agent One-Sixty and Astrea. Her financial troubles seem to have also incurred her a brief stay in a debtors' prison. Whatever the truth, both her life and work seem rich, textured and full of adventure.From the mid 1680's Aphra's health began to decline. This was exacerbated by her continual state of debt and descent into poverty although she was often fond of saying that she had led a 'life dedicated to pleasure and poetry.' Aphra Behn died on 16th April 1689. She is buried in the East Cloister of Westminster Abbey and the inscription on her tombstone reads: "Here lies a Proof that Wit can never be Defence enough against Mortality."

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The British Short Story - A Chronological History

The British Short Story - A Chronological History

Author: Aphra Behn, D H Lawrence, Jonathan Swift Narrator: David Shaw-Parker, Ghizela Rowe, Richard Mitchley Release Date: 01/10/2020

These British Isles, moored across from mainland Europe, are more often seen as a world unto themselves. Restless and creative, they often warred amongst themselves until they began a global push to forge a World Empire of territory, of trade and of language.Here our ambitions are only of the literary kind. These shores have mustered many masters of literature. So this anthology's boundaries includes only those authors who were born in the British Isles - which as a geographical definition is the UK mainland and the island of Ireland - and wrote in a familiar form of English.Whilst Daniel Defoe is the normal starting point we begin a little earlier with Aphra Behn, an equally colourful character as well as an astonishing playwright and poet. And this is how we begin to differentiate our offering; both in scope, in breadth and in depth. These islands have raised and nurtured female authors of the highest order and rank and more often than not they have been sidelined or ignored in favour of that other gender which usually gets the plaudits and the royalties.Way back when it was almost immoral that a woman should write. A few pages of verse might be tolerated but anything else brought ridicule and shame. That seems unfathomable now but centuries ago women really were chattel, with marriage being, as the Victorian author Charlotte Smith boldly stated 'legal prostitution'. Some of course did find a way through - Jane Austen, the Brontes and Virginia Woolf but for many others only by changing their names to that of men was it possible to get their book to publication and into a readers hands. Here we include George Eliot and other examples.We add further depth with many stories by authors who were famed and fawned over in their day. Some wrote only a hidden gem or two before succumbing to poverty and death. There was no second career as a game show guest, reality TV contestant or youtuber. They remain almost forgotten outposts of talent who never prospered despite devoted hours of pen and brain.Keeping to a chronological order helps us to highlight how authors through the ages played around with characters and narrative to achieve distinctive results across many scenarios, many styles and many genres. The short story became a sort of literary laboratory, an early disruptor, of how to present and how to appeal to a growing audience as a reflection of social and societal changes. Was this bound to happen or did a growing population that could read begin to influence rather than just accept?Moving through the centuries we gather a groundswell of authors as we hit the Victorian Age - an age of physical mass communication albeit only on an actual printed page. An audience was offered a multitude of forms: novels (both whole and in serialised form) essays, short stories, poems all in weekly, monthly and quarterly form. Many of these periodicals were founded or edited by literary behemoths from Dickens and Thackeray through to Jerome K Jerome and, even some female editors including Ethel Colburn Mayne, Alice Meynell and Ella D'Arcy.Now authors began to offer a wider, more diverse choice from social activism and justice - and injustice to cutting stories of manners and principles. From many forms of comedy to mental meltdowns, from science fiction to unrequited heartache. If you can imagine it an author probably wrote it. At the end of the 19th Century bestseller lists and then prizes, such as the Nobel and Pulitzer, helped focus an audience's attention to a books literary merit and sales worth. Previously coffeehouses, Imperial trade, unscrupulous overseas printers ignoring copyright restrictions, publishers with their book lists as an appendix and the gossip and interchange of polite society had been the main avenues to secure sales and profits. Within these volumes are 151 authors and 161 miniature masterpieces of a few pages that contain story arcs, narratives, characters and happenings that pull you one way and push you another. Literature for the ears, the heart, the very soul. As the world changed and reshaped itself our species continued to generate words, phrases and stories in testament of the human condition. This collection has a broad sweep and an inclusive nature and whilst you will find gems by D H Lawrence, G K Chesterton, Anthony Trollope, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker and many, many others you'll also find oddballs such as Lewis Carroll and W S Gilbert. Take time to discover the black humour of Violet Hunt, the short story craft of Edith Nesbit and Amy Levy, and ask why you haven't read enough of Ella D'Arcy, Mary Butts and Dorothy Edwards.

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The British Short Story - Volume 1 - Aphra Behn to Mary Shelley

The British Short Story - Volume 1 - Aphra Behn to Mary Shelley

Author: Aphra Behn, Jonathan Swift, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Narrator: Eve Karpf, Ghizela Rowe Release Date: 01/10/2020

These British Isles, moored across from mainland Europe, are more often seen as a world unto themselves. Restless and creative, they often warred amongst themselves until they began a global push to forge a World Empire of territory, of trade and of language.Here our ambitions are only of the literary kind. These shores have mustered many masters of literature. So this anthology's boundaries includes only those authors who were born in the British Isles - which as a geographical definition is the UK mainland and the island of Ireland - and wrote in a familiar form of English.Whilst Daniel Defoe is the normal starting point we begin a little earlier with Aphra Behn, an equally colourful character as well as an astonishing playwright and poet. And this is how we begin to differentiate our offering; both in scope, in breadth and in depth. These islands have raised and nurtured female authors of the highest order and rank and more often than not they have been sidelined or ignored in favour of that other gender which usually gets the plaudits and the royalties.Way back when it was almost immoral that a woman should write. A few pages of verse might be tolerated but anything else brought ridicule and shame. That seems unfathomable now but centuries ago women really were chattel, with marriage being, as the Victorian author Charlotte Smith boldly stated 'legal prostitution'. Some of course did find a way through - Jane Austen, the Brontes and Virginia Woolf but for many others only by changing their names to that of men was it possible to get their book to publication and into a readers hands. Here we include George Eliot and other examples.We add further depth with many stories by authors who were famed and fawned over in their day. Some wrote only a hidden gem or two before succumbing to poverty and death. There was no second career as a game show guest, reality TV contestant or youtuber. They remain almost forgotten outposts of talent who never prospered despite devoted hours of pen and brain.Keeping to a chronological order helps us to highlight how authors through the ages played around with characters and narrative to achieve distinctive results across many scenarios, many styles and many genres. The short story became a sort of literary laboratory, an early disruptor, of how to present and how to appeal to a growing audience as a reflection of social and societal changes. Was this bound to happen or did a growing population that could read begin to influence rather than just accept?Moving through the centuries we gather a groundswell of authors as we hit the Victorian Age - an age of physical mass communication albeit only on an actual printed page. An audience was offered a multitude of forms: novels (both whole and in serialised form) essays, short stories, poems all in weekly, monthly and quarterly form. Many of these periodicals were founded or edited by literary behemoths from Dickens and Thackeray through to Jerome K Jerome and, even some female editors including Ethel Colburn Mayne, Alice Meynell and Ella D'Arcy.Now authors began to offer a wider, more diverse choice from social activism and justice - and injustice to cutting stories of manners and principles. From many forms of comedy to mental meltdowns, from science fiction to unrequited heartache. If you can imagine it an author probably wrote it. At the end of the 19th Century bestseller lists and then prizes, such as the Nobel and Pulitzer, helped focus an audience's attention to a books literary merit and sales worth. Previously coffeehouses, Imperial trade, unscrupulous overseas printers ignoring copyright restrictions, publishers with their book lists as an appendix and the gossip and interchange of polite society had been the main avenues to secure sales and profits.

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Oroonoko: Penguin Classics

Oroonoko: Penguin Classics

Author: Aphra Behn Narrator: Isabel Adomakoh-Young, Kristin Atherton Release Date: 01/09/2020

Brought to you by Penguin. This Penguin Classic is performed by Isabel Adomakoh Young. Isabel's credits include The Provoked Wife with the RSC and playing Lady Macbeth in the West End with the National Youth Theatre Rep Company. This definitive recording includes an introduction by Janet Todd. Restoration-era poet, playwright and novelist Aphra Behn was the first truly professional woman writer in English, and Oroonoko is her sophisticated and insightful condemnation of slavery. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Janet Todd. When Prince Oroonoko's passion for the virtuous Imoinda arouses the jealousy of his grandfather, the lovers are cast into slavery and transported from Africa to the colony of Surinam. Oroonoko's noble bearing soon wins the respect of his English captors, but his struggle for freedom brings about his destruction. Inspired by Aphra Behn's visit to Surinam, Oroonoko reflects the author's romantic view of native peoples as noble savages in 'the first state of innocence, before man knew how to sin'. The novel also reveals Behn's ambiguous attitude to African slavery - while she favoured it as a means to strengthen England's rule, her powerful and moving work conveys its injustice and brutality. This new edition of Oroonoko is based on the first printed version of 1688, and includes a chronology, further reading and notes. In her introduction, Janet Todd examines Aphra Behn's views of slavery, colonization and politics, and her position as a professional woman writer in the Restoration. Little is known of Aphra Behn's (1640-1689) early life. She was probably born in Kent, and in the early 1660s claims to have visited the British colony of Surinam. She turned to literature for a living, producing numerous short stories, 19 stage plays and political propaganda for the Tories. (P) Penguin Audio 2020

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The Poetry of the 17th Century - Volume 1

The Poetry of the 17th Century - Volume 1

Author: Aphra Behn, John Donne, John Dryden Narrator: Ghizela Rowe, Gideon Wagner, Richard Mitchley Release Date: 01/01/2020

The Elizabethan age had almost departed and the world had seen the rise of great European empires that continued to hunt with mischief between themselves as they traversed the globe in search of more spoils and territories. In England the Civil War had brought about the Will of Parliament and the replacement of the Crown as the governing body. But with these Puritan times, and the subsequent Restoration, Poetry had entered a golden age. John Milton, John Dryden, Ben Jonson are but a few of the luminaries whose great verse followed in the wake of the immortal William Shakespeare.

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The Female Poets of the Seventeeth Century - Volume 1

The Female Poets of the Seventeeth Century - Volume 1

Author: Anne Bradstreet, Anne Kingsmill Finch, Aphra Behn Narrator: Ghizela Rowe, Richard Mitchley Release Date: 01/08/2018

For much of history women have been seen rather than heard. Their thoughts, their views have lain too long in the shadows of our culture. Whilst this traditional view has some merit it is not entirely accurate.Here, gathered together in these volumes, we can, through their words, experience their lives; we can hear their voices, their thoughts, joys, loves and losses.For the Female Poet there was always the confining hand of men to instruct that their time was perhaps spent more productively elsewhere. These lines, these gilded verses often protest otherwise.The contribution of women in these earlier centuries is immense and in this series we bring together poets who have created some of the most beautiful and expressive verses ever written. And remember these words, these telling lines, have been written against the grain of society's male bias. With their remembered words these female poets have given us a history that we can all now share.This volume comes to you from Portable Poetry, a specialized imprint from Deadtree Publishing. Our range is large and growing and covers single poets, themes, and many compilations.

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Oroonoko

Oroonoko

Author: Aphra Behn Narrator: Clare Wille Release Date: 01/05/2017

A vivid love story and adventure tale, Oroonoko is a heroic slave narrative about a royal prince and his fight for freedom. The eponymous hero, Oroonoko, deemed royalty in one world and slave in another, is torn from his noble status and betrayed into slavery in Surinam, where he is reduced to chains, fetters and shackles. But his high spirit and admirable character will not be suppressed... The book was groundbreaking at the time and is considered to be one of the first novels written in English. Its condemnation of slavery and Europeans, and striking portrayal of sexuality and violence, shrouded Behn’s name in controversy for years after it was published. **Please Contact Customer Service for Additional Documents**

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Oroonoko

Oroonoko

Author: Aphra Behn Narrator: Susan Lyons Release Date: 01/03/2017

Oroonoko, the grandson of an African king, is madly in love with Imoinda, the daughter of the king's general. When the king-who is also in love with Imoinda-catches wind of their affair, he sells Imoinda as a slave. This betrayal sets off a chain of events that carries unforeseen consequences for everybody involved. Aphra Behn's Oroonoko has been hailed as one of the first great English novels and remains a classic of historical fiction.

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