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Versions of Blackness


  • Page extent: 416 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.64 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521689564)

Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko (1688) is one of the most widely studied works of seventeenth-century literature, because of its powerful representation of slavery and complex portrayal of ways in which differing races and cultures - European, Black African, and Native American - observe and misinterpret each other. This edition presents a new edition of Oroonoko, with unprecedentedly full and informative commentary, along with complete texts of three major British seventeenth-century works concerned with race and colonialism: Henry Neville's The Isle of Pines (1668), Behn's Abdelazer (1676), and Thomas Southerne's tragedy Oroonoko (1696). It combines these with a rich anthology of European discussions of slavery, racial difference, and colonial conquest from the mid-sixteenth century to the time of Behn's death. Many are taken from important works that have not hitherto been easily available, and the collection offers an unrivaled resource for studying the culture that produced Britain's first major fictions of slavery.

• Contains the most fully and expertly annotated edition of Aphra Behn's 'Oroonoko', one of the most widely studied seventeenth-century works • Wide-ranging anthology of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts concerned with race, colonialism, and slavery • Will be of interest to any university with a degree course in English literature


Introduction; A note on the texts; Part I. The Major Texts: Henry Neville 'The Isle of Pines'; Aphra Behn 'Abdelazer'; Aphra Behn 'Oroonoko'; Thomas Southerne 'Oroonoko'; Part II. Contexts: Europe, America, and Africa; From Bartolome de las Casas 'A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies'; From Juan Gines de Sepulveda 'Democrates Secundus'; From Michel Eyquem de Montaigne 'Of the Cannibals' and 'Of Coaches'; From Jose de Acosta 'On Spreading the Gospel among the Savages'; From Thomas Gage 'The English-American his Travail by Sea and Land'; From Richard Ligon 'A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados'; From Sir William Davenant 'The History of Sir Francis Drake'; From Antoine Biet 'Voyage de la France Equinoxiale en l'Isle de Cayenne'; From William Byam 'An Exact Relation of the Most Execrable Attempts of John Allin'; From Charles de Rochefort 'The History of the Caribby-Islands'; From Jean-Baptiste du Tetre 'Histoire Generale des Antilles Habitees par les Francois'; From George Warren 'An Impartial Description of Surinam'; From 'Great Newes from the Barbadoes'; From Morgan Godwyn 'The Negros and Indians Advocate'; From Thomas Tryon 'Friendly Advice to the Gentleman Planters of the East and West Indies'; Discussions of Colonialism; From Thomas Thorowgood 'Iewes in America'; From Hamon L'Estrange 'Americans no Iewes'; From Thomas Hobbes 'Leviathan'; From Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon 'A brief view and survey of the dangerous and pernicious errors to church and state, in Mr Hobbes's book, entitled 'Leviathan'; From John Locke 'Two Treatises of Government'; The Germantown declaration.

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