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Oroonoko

The best-known work by Aphra Behn, Oroonoko is an important contribution to the development of the novel in English. Though it predates the British abolition movement by more than a century, it is also an early depiction of the dehumanizing racial violence of slavery; Oroonoko tells of a noble African prince enslaved and taken to…

Popular Plays by Women in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century

This anthology offers a selection of popular dramatic works by female playwrights from Aphra Behn in the 1670s through Hannah Cowley in the later eighteenth century. These plays were successful as plays of their time, not just as plays by women, together providing evidence that women dramatists often managed better than their male counterparts to…

The Widow Ranter

In her final play, Aphra Behn looks across the Atlantic and reimagines Bacon’s Rebellion, the notorious revolt whose participants took up arms against the government of colonial Virginia with the aim of driving the Indigenous population from the region. Heavily fictionalized and featuring a memorable cast of both heroic and comic characters, Behn’s long-neglected tragicomedy…

The Rover – Second Edition

Increasingly Aphra Behn—the first woman professional writer—is also regarded as one of the most important writers of the 17th century. The Rover, her most famous and most accomplished play, is in many ways firmly in the tradition of Restoration drama; Willmore, the title character, is a rake and a libertine, and the comedy feeds on…

“I would take a little pains to make him know how much he errs…”

Tanya Caldwell’s anthology Popular Plays by Women in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century, published in 2011, includes a selection of lively criticism by women dramatists along with four plays by Aphra Behn, Hannah Cowley, Catherine Clive, and Susanna Centlivre. Aphra Behn’s “Epistle to the Reader,” from her play The Dutch Lover, is a humorous but powerful defense of women playwrights. Not incidentally, it contains this hilariously scathing description of a theatregoer who questions women’s abilities as dramatists:

The London Jilt

This entertaining novel’s full title, which claims that it will show “All the Artifices and Strategems which the Ladies of Pleasure make use of for the Intreaguing and Decoying of Men,” suggests that it is a cautionary tale. And in fact, The London Jilt is presented as the memoir of a courtesan by an anonymous…

Restoration and 18th-Century Literature

RESTORATION AND 18TH-CENTURY LITERATURE *Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader (1660s) *Bell in Campo and The Sociable Companions (1662) Margaret Cavendish *Sociable Letters (1664) Margaret Cavendish The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World (1666) Margaret Cavendish Grounds of Natural Philosophy (1668) Margaret Cavendish The Rover, second edition (1677) Aphra Behn Oroonoko (1688)…

Sociable Letters

The writings of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, are remarkable for their vivid depiction of the mores and mentality of seventeenth-century England. This edition includes all of Cavendish’s Sociable Letters (1664), a collection of writings that comments on a wide range of aspects of seventeenth-century society, such as war and peace, science and medicine, English…

The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World

First published in 1666, Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle’s Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World is the first fictional portrayal of women and the new science. In Blazing World, Cavendish depicts her heroine, the Empress, in multiple roles. The Empress is leader of a dreamlike utopian world reachable through the North Pole,…

The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama

This is the first new full-scale anthology of Restoration and eighteenth-century drama in over sixty years. Concentrating on plays from the heyday of 1660-1737, it focuses especially on Restoration drama proper (1660-1688) and Revolution drama (1689-1714), with a smaller selection of plays from the early Georgian period (1715-1737) and a glimpse at the later Georgian…

Paper Bodies

Margaret Cavendish was one of the most subversive and entertaining writers of the seventeenth century. She invented new genres, challenged gender roles, and critiqued the new science as well as the mores of society. “Paper Bodies” was the wonderful phrase she used to described her manuscripts, which she hoped would continue to make “a great…

The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Prose

The publication of The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Verse and Prose is a literary event; this comprehensive volume is the first anthology of the period to reflect the breadth of seventeenth-century studies in recent decades. Over one hundred writers are included, from John Chamberlain at the beginning of the century to Elisabeth Singer Rowe at…

The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Verse

The publication of The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Verse and Prose is a literary event; this comprehensive volume is the first anthology of the period to reflect the breadth of seventeenth-century studies in recent decades. Over one hundred writers are included, from John Chamberlain at the beginning of the century to Elisabeth Singer Rowe at…

The Female American – Second Edition

When it first appeared in 1767, this novel was called a “sort of second Robinson Crusoe; full of wonders.” Indeed, The Female American is an adventure novel about an English protagonist shipwrecked on a deserted isle, where survival requires both individual ingenuity and careful negotiations with visiting local Indians. But what most distinguishes Winkfield’s novel…

The Broadview Anthology of Poetry – Second Edition

Among the poets new to this edition are such leading names as Americans Robert Pinsky, Louise Erdrich and Louise Glück; Britons James Fenton and Carol Ann Duffy; and Canadians Anne Carson, Robert Bringhurst, and Christian Bök. A number of names who may be new to many readers of poetry are also included among them: Ohioan…

The Broadview Anthology of Drama, Volume 1: From Antiquity Through the Eighteenth Century

The Broadview Anthology of Drama: Plays from the Western Theatre is a chronological presentation of 43 plays in two volumes, ranging from the ancient theatre world to the present day. Each chapter focuses on a specific period and begins with an insightful introduction sketching the historical and theatrical landscape of that period. Contextualization for each…

The Broadview Anthology of Drama: Concise Edition

The Broadview Anthology of Drama: Plays from the Western Theatre, concise edition is an overview of Western drama that offers chronological range and artistic variety in a compact, single-volume format. Context for each play is provided with a thorough account of its literary and dramatic background, along with clear and comprehensive annotation. In addition, the…

Writing and Workshopping Poetry: A Constructive Introduction

Most texts on creative writing emphasize either sources of inspiration or strategies for editing. The process of getting from initial inspiration to final draft isn’t often dealt with in any practical way. Writing and Workshopping Poetry focuses on all three phases of the process of composition: finding the material; building and developing the poem from…

The Broadview Anthology of Poetry

“The purpose of The Broadview Anthology of Poetry is to present a wide range of poetry written in English. [Though the poems are arranged chronologically], we have compiled not a historical survey, but rather a collection of poems that represent a variety of times, places and English-speaking cultures. Our selection process was guided by a…

The Broadview Anthology of British Literature: One-Volume Compact Edition

In all six of its volumes, The Broadview Anthology of British Literature presents British literature in a truly distinctive light. Fully grounded in sound literary and historical scholarship, the anthology takes a fresh approach to many canonical authors, and includes a wide selection of work by lesser-known writers. The anthology also provides wide-ranging coverage of…

Desmond

Desmond is a political novel about the French Revolution. It is Charlotte Smith’s only epistolary work, and it is her most politically radical piece. Written in response to Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, Smith’s Desmond fuses political discussion with romance, social satire and a suspenseful plot revolving around a liberal hero desperately…

The Adventures of Rivella

Delarivier Manley is increasingly coming to the fore as a prominent figure in early eighteenth-century fiction, and The Adventures of Rivella in particular has been attracting attention not only as an important example of amatory fiction, but also as an early autobiographical novel. At one level, Sir Charles Lovemore tells the story of Rivella’s life…

Novel Definitions

Novel Definitions captures the lively critical debate surrounding the invention of the English novel, showing how the rise of the novel was accompanied by a rise in popular literary criticism. The anthology collects over 135 primary sources that chart the long eighteenth century’s interpretation of the novel. These sources—many newly-discovered—include essays, prefaces, reviews, and sermons…