English dramatist, writer, and poet Aphra Behn.

Aphra Behn

(1640 - 1689)

A dramatist, poet, and novelist, Aphra Behn was the first Englishwoman known to earn her living exclusively from her talent as a writer. Born in Kent shortly before the English Civil War, Behn lived briefly in Surinam in 1663 and drew upon her travel experiences for her novel Oroonoko. She died in 1689, her epitaph at Westminster Abbey stating, “Here lies a proof that wit can never be / Defence enough against mortality.”

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Money speaks sense in a language all nations understand.

—Aphra Behn, 1677

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