Aphra Behn

By Moosey
  • Born

    --to a barber named John Amis and his wife Amy. (Stiebel, Arlene. "Aphra Behn")
    --to a couple named Cooper.("Aphra Behn". Encyclopædia Britannica Online)
    --to Bartholomew Johnson, a barber, and Elizabeth Denham, a wet-nurse. (The Histories And Novels of the Late Ingenious Mrs. Behn (1696)
    --at "Sturry or Canterbury" to a Mr Johnson and that she had a sister named Frances. (Colonel Thomas Colepeper in Adversaria)
    --in Wye in Kent, the "Daughter to a Barber". (Anne Finch)
  • Travels to Surinam

    Travels to Surinam
    Potentially with her family or some family member (?) stayed in a house in St John's Hill (evidence?) where slaves were managed under John Trefrey
  • Back to London

    Brings back rare flies, of amazing forms and colours... some as big as my fist, some less' presented to His Majesty's Antiquaries. Also the Indian feathers for Drydens The Indian Queen.
  • (Apparently) Marries 'Mr Behn'

    Really? No evidence. No time. Nada. Just conjecture.
  • Mr Behn Dies?

    Mr Behn Dies?
    If he ever existed
  • Thomas Killigrew employs her as a spy in Dutch Wars

    Thomas Killigrew employs her as a spy in Dutch Wars
    to Antwerp
  • Edward Butler threatens her with imprisonment unless she repays

    And it seems she goes there, because the letter to Killigrew did nothing.
  • Lands in Bruges

    The harbour at Ostend was closed for the plague, so she lands in Bruges. Mission: to seek out Willia Scot, son of Thomas Scot the regicide, and pump from him information concerning the Dutch naval and military activities, and details of exiled Englishmen in Holland.
  • Returns to England in debt

    Returns to England in debt
    having been paid nothing, and pawned her jewellery to follow Charles Scot and survive. Letters to the Court had provided nothing. Borrows 150 pounds from Edward Butler to help repay her debts.
  • The Forc'd Marriage performed

    with Betterton, Mary Saunderson (Betterton), and Thomas Otway for the first night only (he was a nervous performer). Ran for six nights.
  • The Amorous Prince

    at Lincoln's Inn Fields between Feb and May 1671. (Davenant) (Interesting that Killigrew didn't hire her)
  • The Dutch Lover

  • Period: to

    Relationship with John Hoyle

  • Abdelazer

    tragedy. Betterton played Abdelazar, and Mary Lee played Isabella.
  • The Town Fop

    comedy about an unhappy marriage and its dissolution.
  • The Rover

    At Dorset Garden (Davenant's first purpose built one, built in 1671, demolished 1720 after they moved to Drury Lane.)
  • The Debauchee - published anonymously

    from Brome's A Mad Couple Well Matched
  • Sir Patient Fancy

    Dorset Garden. Printed version's epilogue has a defence of a woman's right to write, and another defence of her writing in the introduction. (1678 version)
  • Period: to

    The Popish Plot

  • The Feign'd Courtesans

    at Dorset Garden and dedicated to Nell Gwyn.
  • The Young King

    Tragicomedy, Dorset Garden. Cleomena the Amazon queen. Probably written in Surinam brought out, has the 'first of my pen' intro. Autumn
  • Period: to

    The Exclusion Crisis

  • The Revenge - Published anonymously

    from Marston's The Dutch Courtesan
  • The False Count

    Claims to have written this in five days. Mistaken identities, dress-up, etc
  • Rover part 2

    Duke's Company
    One couple decides not to marry but to live together
  • The Roundheads

    Comedy about the last days of the Civil War.
    Often interpreted as 'straightforward Tory romp', but some suggest that Behn's portrayal of the warring political factions is more nuanced than it first seems. Melissa Mowry notes that Behn sometimes "allows characters associated with republicanism more dignity than we might expect, or at least fails to condemn them as stridently as a royalist might". Portrayed Elizabeth Cromwell far more sympathetically than John Tatum had in his earlier play.
  • The City Heiress

    comedy lampooning Shaftsbury and the Whigs. Well received.
  • Like Father Like Son

    Not printed, only the prologue and epilogue survive. Might have been a failure. Shadwell (Whig playwright) wrote:
    Such stupid humours now the gallants seize
    Women and boys may write and yet may please.
    Poetess Aphra though she's damned today
    tomorrow will put up another play.
  • Prologue to Romulus and Hersilia

    Two days later a warrant for arrest of Mary Lee (Lady Slingsby) and Behn. Too far with condemnation of the Duke of Marlborough: And of all treasons, mine wa most accurst:
    rebelling 'gainst a king and father first.
    A sin, which heav'n nor man ca e'er forgive... Generally though they got away with a warning.
  • Starts writing three novellas

    the Fair jilt, The history of the nun, the history of the servant (disputed) - published after her death
  • Love letters between a nobleman and his sister

    Based on the relationship between Forde, Lord Grey, and his wife's sister, Lady Henrietta Berkley. Had eloped in 1682 and were caught , brought to trial, and found guilty.
  • Poems on Several Occasions, with a Voyage to the Island of Love

  • Miscellany

    includes poems by herself (what and those of others?)
  • Monmouth Rebellion

  • James II Coronation

    James II Coronation
  • La Montre: The Lover's Watch

  • John Hoyle arraigned for sodomy

    John Hoyle arraigned for sodomy
  • The Emperor of the Moon

    Apparently one of the most successful plays of the 18thc. Farce. Regularly performed at court for dignitaries. Often chosen for performances on Friday 13th because it never failed.
  • Translations of Fontanelle and Aesop

  • Oroonoko

  • The Lucky Chance

    Drury Lane. with a strongly defending preface defending her right to write as explicitly as the men. One of her 'best plays'.
    25 November, 1786, Drury Lane a comedy by Mrs. Hannah Cowley (1743-1809), ... A School for Greybeards; (1786 and 1787). Genest writes: ‘On the first night it struck me that I had seen something like the play before ...are taken from The Lucky Chance—as Mrs. Behn’s play, though a very good one is too indecent to be ever represented again. M
  • The Widow Ranter

    Dorset garden. Failure because of miscasting. George Jenkins wrote the dedication
  • Coronoation of William and Mary

    Refused to write a poem for William but wrote one for Mary without any mention of him.
  • Dies

    Buried on 20th April, Westminster
  • The Younger Brother

    Produced by Charles Gildon at Drury Lane.
  • Love Letters to a Gentleman

    GEnerally thought to be those to John Hoyle