Aphra Behn's English Feminism: Wit and Satire

Synopsis

"English feminism has played a critical role in the development of twentieth-century western culture. Aphra Behn (1640-89) was undoubtedly the first English feminist and the first novelist in English literature. In her novels, a Spanish voice is present, and this is mainly from a woman, Maria de Zayas. Although the connection had not been seen previously, this book shows that Behn established an intellectual dialogue to debate and oppose the Spanish woman's point of view. Both women defended their right to express themselves in writing, condemned detractors, and permeated their prose with ironic wit. Both writers were especially concerned with the relationship between the sexes. Behn's novels, though, discard Zayas's pessimistic views and supernatural accounts; using wit and satire, they completely subvert the original texts." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved