London, South Kensington
19 March 2008
17TH AND 18TH CENTURY BOOKS
BEHN, Aphra (1640-89). Poems upon Several Occasions: with a Voyage to the Island of Love. London: Printed for R. Tonson and J. Tonson, 1684. 8°. (Marginal rustholes in b5 and F8, small piece torn away from margin of E3, stained and spotted mainly at margins.) Contemporary speckled calf (joints split, upper cover nearly detached, rubbed and scuffed). Provenance: Sir James Mackintosh (armorial bookplate). FIRST EDITION. Grolier Wither to Prior 38; Lowndes I, 147; Wing B1757.
Aphra Behn was England's first major professional woman writer. After John Dryden she was the most prolific playwright of the Restoration, but she also wrote poetry and short stories, one of which, Oroonoko (1688), in addition to its importance as a pioneering anti-slavery tract, is often cited as a foundation stone in the development of the English novel. A controversial celebrity in her own time, an outspoken advocate of the equality of the sexes, she was largely neglected in later years until Virginia Woolf championed her writing in A Room of One's Own (1929): "All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn ... for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds".
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.
Highlights from the R. Eden Martin Collection features extraordinary first editions and manuscripts by the likes of Pasternak, Pushkin, Bulgakov and Tolstoy
The remarkable memoir of a British naval officer who witnessed and recorded the historic events of 11 November, 1918
Looking back on a week of auctions featuring masterworks representing some of the greatest collections assembled in the United States
Explore key British artists from the 19th century to the present day, to be offered across four sales of Modern British Art and British Impressionism this November at Christie’s London.