“We are bought and sold like apes or monkeys,
to be the sport of women, fools, and cowards,
and the support of rogues…”
Oroonoko: the bestselling novel by Aphra Behn
A tale of love, slavery, and rebellion.
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.
One of the most influential English novels in history, Oroonoko was the first book to express sympathy for African slaves.
Based partly on Behn's childhood in Suriname, Oroonoko depicts the love of Prince Oroonoko, the grandson of an African king, for Imoinda, the daughter of the king's top general.
She refuses to leave Oroonoko to become the king's wife, and later dies in his arms.
Renowned for the tenderness and respect Behn gave each of her characters, Oroonoko is the most fondly remembered work by the author.
APHRA BEHN (1640-1689) flourished in the sophisticated world of the London playhouse and court. A prolific and influential writer, she is best remembered for her masterworks, Oroonoko, The Fair Jilt, Memoirs of the Court of the King of Bantam, The History of the Nun, The Adventure of the Black Lady, and The Unfortunate Bride.
“It was Aphra Behn, "who earned women the right to speak their minds."