Aphra was the daughter of John and Amy Amis and lived as child in Surinam (Dutch Guiana) until moving back to England in 1658. She married a London merchant named Behn who died in 1666. She was employed by Charles II as a spy in Antwerp during the Dutch War. She began her writing career in order to get herself out of debt and in 1671 published her first play, The Forc'd Marriage. Over the next 18 years she produced 15 plays, the most popular of which was The Rover (produced in two parts in 1677 and 1681). Among her many works, the best known novel is Oroonoko, or the History of the Royal Slave (1688). Aphra was buried in the east cloister of Westminster Abbey.
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Oroonoko; or the Royal Slave
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