Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Baker, Orville||Burtness, Paul S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership and Educational Policy Studies


Behn; Aphra; 1640-1689


When one comes to study the life and works of Aphra Behn, one iraraedi-ately confronts the tangled web of her biography. Details of her life which were so much taken for granted that they found their way into many reference works, text books, etc., have been called into question within the last century. The problems of research—work that scholars have done in untangling the skeins of fact and fancy, weighing and analyzing the data they have presented and their interpretations of that data, the inferences they have drawn, the controversy which has ensued—prove fascinating. Indeed the problem of Aphra Behn herself, as the first Englishwoman to earn a living with her pen, as a spy in the service of her government, and as a co-worker and intimate of some of the noted literary figures of the time, transcends any interest we may have in reading her plays, novels, and poetry, although her works are of some interest in the history of English literature and have some significance, albeit slight, in that history.


Includes bibliographical references.


54 pages




Northern Illinois University

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