London: John Pearson, 1871. First Thus. Facsimile reprint edition of the 1724 third edition of the Plays and 1735 edition of the Novels. Finely bound by Sotherans in half speckled calf with ornate gilt and morocco to spines. Top edges brightly gilt. Marbled endpapers. Morocco bookplates of W. A. Foyle, Beeleigh Abbey to front pastedowns of each; bookseller's ticket of W. G. Foyle to rear pastedown of each. Measuring 105 x 175mm each. Complete, including frontis. Internally fresh and unmarked. A lovely example with trivial wear, most noticeably to the upper front corner of volume II and the spine ends of volume IV.
Most often noted as the first professional woman playwright in England, Aphra Behn used her literary works to promote the employment of women (casting a notably higher percentage of actresses than her male contemporaries), to depict the social and economic precarity of women in her time, and to present women writers as equal in intelligence and irreverence to men. Here, her works are beautifully drawn together; and then as now, they offer a new generation the opportunity to witness her genius. (Item #4598)