Literature & Poetry

Our Friend Behn

Aphra Behn is pretty awesome. I read her 1688 novel Oroonoko in my 18th Century Literature class at St. Vincent. It’s hard enough for anyone, male or female, to make a living writing in this day and age. I can’t imagine how hard it was for a woman in the seventeenth century to do so, especially one as pioneering, independent, challenging and thought-provoking as Behn certainly was!

Eleventh Stack

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“One hour of right-down love is worth an age of dully living on.” Aphra Behn


Aphra Behn was the first woman to make a living by writing in the English language.  As it is Women’s History Month, and this is a library blog, it’s only right that we salute the saucy and enigmatic mother of English writing.

Top Ten Reasons Why Aphra Behn Pretty Much Rules

  1. She was a spy!  Aphra’s early life is unknown, but we do know that she spent some years in her 20s as a spy for Charles II in Antwerp.  What a great way to inform your writing!  Another great way to inform your writing is to find yourself in debtors’ prison, because you paid your spy expenses out of pocket, on promise from the king that he would repay you.  The king never repaid Aphra, and indeed she was imprisoned.  Way to look out…

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Literature & Poetry

“My Heart Leaps Up” #worldpoetryday

March 21 is World Poetry Day, so of course I have to once again post my favorite poem by my favorite poet.  English Romantic poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) wrote "My Heart Leaps Up" on March 26, 1802 - nearly 210 years ago today. "My Heart Leaps Up" (1802) My heart leaps up when I behold… Continue reading “My Heart Leaps Up” #worldpoetryday

Literature & Poetry

The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge

I'm currently reading The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge by Adam Sisman. Sisman tells the story of the close friendship and creative partnership between English Romantic poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  I bought the book when it was first published in 2006, but I finally feel like now is the right time to read… Continue reading The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge

Literature & Poetry, Popular Music

From Wordsworth to Wilson

Since April is National Poetry Month, I thought I would share my favorite poem from my favorite poet, William Wordsworth, a major poet of the Romantic Age in England (probably my favorite period in literary and art history) . One of my future travel destinations is Dove Cottage, located on the edge of the village… Continue reading From Wordsworth to Wilson