“Reader, Take Notice”: Aphra Behn’s References and Self-Representation in the Epistle to the Reader in The Dutch Lover


Aphra Behn is generally regarded as the first Englishwoman to have lived by the pen, not an easy feat in the competitive world of the literary world of Restoration London. While her early life remains a mystery, her time in London and her allegiances are very well-documented. Throughout her whole career, she crafted a persona that interacted with her readers and the audience in her paratexts; however, the self she presented in the early stages of her career through the references she made has never been fully considered. Investigating these allusions can help fill in the blanks of what is known about her and revisit older conceptions. This study explores and identifies the references she made and the communicative strategies she used in her epistle to the reader printed with The Dutch Lover (1673) and what they mean in terms of the self she crafted.

Author Biography

Victoria Echegaray Mitar, Universidad de Sevilla
Victoria Echegaray-Mitar is a PhD researcher at the University of Seville (FPI). She is currently working on her dissertation—a critical edition of Susanna Centlivre’s first comedy, The Beau’s Duel (1702)—and is a member of the Restoration Comedy Project at the University of Seville. Her research interests include Restoration literature, women writers, bibliography, and textual criticism.


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