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Image provided by Sandra Friesen

Sandra Friesen
PhD Candidate, Sessional Instructor

Affiliation with UVic English: Graduate Student, PhD Candidate

Special Book: Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works, Aphra Behn

When did you first read this book: During a graduate seminar at the University of Western Ontario.

Which sentence from this book has special significance for you?
“And if you’re drawn to th’life, pray tell me then / Why women should not write as well as men” (Epilogue to Sir Patient Fancy, 1679).

What does the sentence mean to you?

As an outspoken, highly prolific author of the 1670s and 80s who published in four separate genres, Aphra Behn, as Virginia Woolf famously said, “earned [women] the right to speak their minds”. At every turn Behn both demonstrated and fought for the legitimization of women’s wit, and I’m deeply grateful for her persistence.