Oroonoko, or, The Royal Slave

Aphra Behn

Renard Press



ISBN: 9781913724115


Publication date: 6 October 2021



First published in 1688, Oroonoko, or, The Royal Slave is a short, politically charged novella by the Restoration playwright – and spy – Aphra Behn, and is arguably one of the founding texts of the novel form. Purporting to chart the life of an African prince, Oroonoko, who is tricked into slavery and taken to South America, the narrative follows the Prince through his trials of love, loss and rebellion.

Vying for the title of the first English novel – and certainly the first to be read as an indictment of the treatment of Africans – Oroonoko has all the hallmarks of Behn’s stage works, which are widely considered to be amongst the most important of the Restoration period.